The Common Good

'Spewing Reasonable Dialogue': Affirmation from a 'Skeptical' Commenter

It's not often that a message from a blog commenter makes my day, let alone my week. (Usually they're ALL CAPS e-mails demanding to know why they've been blocked from commenting and telling us what idiots we are.) By the way, this is why we need you to click "report" on abusive posts -- we really do act on them, and it's what keeps our comment section reasonably civil. Though we can always do better.

But this letter was the kind of affirmation that makes all that comment moderation seem worthwhile. Though I did have to start over and read it more carefully before I "got it."

As a skeptic, I find your site disturbing. How dare you call yourselves Christians and then practice humility and critical thinking! If you don't offend and condescend, how can you claim to be living your blind faith? It's almost as if you think Christianity is *not* synonymous with "judgmental, ignorant, and abusive."

And what of the people who comment on your blogs? Since when do Christians disagree with each other respectfully and with nuanced positions? This is an outrage. How are the rest of us supposed to pigeonhole Christians as hate-filled, frothing-at-the-mouth extremists if some of you are going to start acting...humane?

What really galls me is that you engage in all these anti-Christian practices, and then you continue to stand by your conservative positions. "Compassionate conservative?" Don't you understand that was just a joke to snooker naive moderates?

I'm not sure what your game is, but rest assured I'm going to be stopping by your site regularly. I'm even going to recommend that some of my America-blaming, immoral, valueless friends stop by from time to time. If you people are going to be spewing this kind of reasonable dialogue, I think my subversive friends and I should pay attention.

Skeptimal

Ryan Rodrick Beiler is the Web Editor for Sojourners and a photographer whose work can be seen at www.ryanrodrickbeiler.com.

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Related Stories

Resources

Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)