Thursday, May 6, 2010

About the Blog

(1) (a) This blog will be different from other blogs, in a word because I am different! (b) I suppose that I am taking my cue from the strategy of Vatican II and John Paul II to “overcome evil by the power of good”. : rather than focusing on the negative and complaining about and condemning errors, I am instead remaining positive and pointing out the good and seeking to attract people to it (or inspire them to persevere in it). We are, after all, called to be a post-resurrection, joy-filled “Easter people”. I believe that such an approach is more in line with what our faith is about and calls us to be.

(2) Posting may be infrequent, and there may be long stretches where there are no new posts. This is not only because of the purpose of the blog (which as I said was to get my manuscripts published), but also because blogging can easily end up consuming time that is or should be set aside for prayer, and because we are created for interpersonal communication and direct human contact, which when exchanged for the illusory and artificial world of cyberspace, where no one has a real name or a face with eyes to look into or a smile to literally see, can paradoxically lead to feelings of isolation and thus depression.

(3) Regarding comments, (a) I have mixed feelings. (i) On the one hand, it gives everyone a voice, and allows for discussion which helps both the writer and the reader properly form and if appropriate revise his position. (ii) On the other hand, such threads often get off topic, many good arguments get drowned out in a sea of fallacies and opinions from many who lack the qualifications or education to speak on the issue, the discussion often degenerates into an argument where statements become uncharitable (ie. insults are made, tone becomes angry, attitude becomes condescending, etc.) and as a result we lose our patience and peace.

As a result, I will have some restrictions on comments – much more than other blogs.

For some posts, the comments may be disabled.

(ii) Every poster must use his real name. Hiding behind a pseudonym is beneath us, and allows us to post anything we feel like (often knowing it is not appropriate for a Christian) without being held accountable – which is why we do it. Although I might not be able to always tell if you are using a real name, God knows, and He will hold you accountable for violating this forum’s rules. (Amendment: I have allowed a number of posts from those with "pseudonyms", and as long as the posts continue to be charitable, I will continue to allow these).

(iii) Everything must be said charitably – and I will be the final judge of what is “charitable”, based on various excerpts from Scripture and De Sales’ Introduction to the Devout Life (which you can find in the next post). To cite the most common and the ones people find the most surprising to some, all insults, potshots (which includes correcting people on their grammar), emotionally-laden adjectives and adverbs, name-calling, mockery and sarcasm, condescending comments, are prohibited.

(iv) I will make some exceptions for those who are not orthodox Catholic (“liberal” Catholics, non-Catholics, and non-Christians). Yes, I will be holding you orthodox Catholics to a higher standard, which does not bother me, because Our Lord Himself does. (see Luke 12:48, Vatican II [LG, 14]). Also, I will have the occasional non-Catholic or non-Christian reader, and I do not want them to get the impression we are angry, negative, pessimistic, condescending or arrogant, because we are really joyful, at peace, and patient, nor do I want them to be turned off or driven away.

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