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Blog Commenting Policy

Some of you may have noticed that I have comment moderation on my blog. The reason for this is trolls. I love good reasoned discussion and have no problems with civil disagreement. On the other hand, I have no time for those who add nothing to the discussion and come to just sling mud.

Slate now offers an article that explains why people troll:
The research, conducted by Erin Buckels of the University of Manitoba and two colleagues, sought to directly investigate whether people who engage in trolling are characterized by personality traits that fall in the so-called Dark Tetrad: Machiavellianism (willingness to manipulate and deceive others), narcissism (egotism and self-obsession), psychopathy (the lack of remorse and empathy), and sadism (pleasure in the suffering of others). 
It is hard to underplay the results: The study found correlations, sometimes quite significant, between these traits and trolling behavior. What’s more, it also found a relationship between all Dark Tetrad traits (except for narcissism) and the overall time that an individual spent, per day, commenting on the Internet.
I always suspected there was some pathology involved in trolling.

In any case, as far as my blog goes, here are some basic rules:

1. No anonymous posts. Now I can't stop you from making up multiple profiles and posting under multiple fake ID's. But you have to give yourself some name other than "anonymous"

2. No ad hominem attacks. Whether you are speaking about me, another commenter, or some individual mentioned in the story, I expect everyone to try to treat others with respect and dignity.

3. No profanity. The English language is rich enough to express any idea without resorting to profanity.

4. Stay on topic. Some folks just have to offer the same comment no matter what the subject of the post. Lots of times it is just the same worn out insult. So be it. It will be deleted, not published.

5. No spam. If you leave a link in the comment, it needs to be relevant. If you are trying to promote your own blog or web site, I understand. I did that when I first started blogging.  Just make sure the comment is at least tangentially related to my post. I will not publish a link to your Indian match-making site no matter now many times you leave a link on the posts I write about marriage.

6. Finally, it is my blog. I get to decide what is published and what is not published. If I think you are trolling or spamming, it will not show up here.


Popular posts from this blog

Find Catholic Mass even when Traveling

First published 1/27/06

There is no such thing as a travel dispensation. Even when you are away from your home parish, you are expected to take advantage of your Sunday opportunity to attend Mass. With most communities offering a Saturday evening vigil Mass as well as Sunday Mass, there is really no excuse for missing Mass while traveling unless you are backpacking beyond the reach of civilization. It takes just a little planning and effort on your part. The question is, “Do you really want to go to Mass?”

Why should we worry about missing Mass while traveling? Well, the easy answer is “’Cause the Church says so!” Missing Mass is considered a serious sin. Jesus told Peter Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven (Mt 16:19)so we must take the edicts of the Church quite seriously. Still, this is a child-like level of understanding. The more mature answer is we have a responsibility to maintain our relationship with God. Like any relationship, if it is neglected, it weaken…

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One of the fun things about having a site meter on my blog is I can see which posts garner the most attention. I can also see how people find my blog. One of the most read posts from my two years of blogging is this one that discusses finding Mass while traveling. I would like to think this post is so popular because it is so well written. The truth of the matter is that it generates so much traffic because I use the words “travel dispensation for Mass”—as in “There is no such thing as a travel dispensation for Mass.” I would guess that nearly a dozen times every week, someone googles “travel dispensation for Mass” and finds my blog. I wonder how many of these folks are poor souls trying to assuage their Catholic guilt with evidence of a justification for missing Mass while on the road.

I know that when I tell my seventh grade CCD students that attending Mass every Sunday is a commandment (one of the top ten!) and not just a pretty good idea they are amazed. Missing Mass has become so …

Parent Letter from a Catechist

I am going to be teaching seventh grade CCD this year. We do most of the preparation for confirmation during this year since Confirmation is usually scheduled for the fall of the eighth grade year.I have composed a letter to the parents to try and keep them active in their children's religious education. I thought I would post it here and get your feedback before I send it out in a couple of weeks.

I am privileged to be your child’s seventh grade CCD teacher for the 2006-2007 school year. This is a very important year. We will focus on your child’s preparation for confirmation. Of course, you have already been preparing your child for this sacrament for many years. You are the primary catechist for your child. You show how important your Faith is by making Mass attendance a top priority and by family prayer.

Confirmation is one of the Sacraments of Initiation. It is a beginning. It is not a graduation. This year we will work to solidify the foundation of your child’s Catholic Faith.…