Sunday, August 28, 2011

Catholics in the Combox: Read before you comment....

"Wait for me!" | 1903 | Sophie Gengembre Anderson

The first topic in the Catholics in the Combox series is in developmentIn the meanwhile, please read this post so you know how to participate.  All posts in the series will be linked to this post to avoid repetition.

Sometimes we are so quick to fire off that comment we leave everyone else behind.  The next thing you know, no one left in the combox is talking about the original post and people are quarreling.

This series is about heightening our collective awareness of online behaviors - specifically how we interact with one another and talk about others. 

  • Are we doing things that are not in harmony with Sacred Scripture and Church teaching?
  • Are there virtues and other lessons we need to look at more deeply and apply?

We can discuss an issue like detraction, rash judgment, or prudence without introducing things that will cause the combox to get sidetracked onto other issues and away from the targeted topic.  

For the Catholics in the Combox series, I am applying a special set of rules, some of which were mentioned in my introductory post. I'm going to truly "moderate", not just filter out spam, so the combox discussion is productive and filled with valuable information for all of us.

General Notes:

For the Catholics in the Combox series only, this what you must do to participate in the combox:

  • Read the post completely before commenting.  Comments which show clear signs that the post was not read, will be rejected.

  • I have opened the Anonymous option to allow for more participation. You must sign your post with a name or pseudonym. I recommend first, hitting the enter key and signing the bottom then begin typing your message above that.  This way, you won't forget to sign it and I won't need to reject your comment.

  • I don't mind one person having a number of contributions.  However, I would discourage a series of them in a row (besides, they sometimes end up in my spam folder).

    Photo: Graham Loveland
    These are not the kind of rabbit holes we want to avoid; rather, we want to avoid
    combox rabbit holes. These are created when someone introduces a particular name or word
    and the discussion gets sidetracked. 

    Avoiding the creation of rabbit holes in the combox

    We will not be including any of the following in our comments, not even veiled.  I'll have to make a judgment call because I want the post to stay on topic.

    • Names of other people (as in, pointing the finger at them)
    • Names of various groups/subcultures (i.e., democrat, republican, traditionalist, charismatic, protestantetc.)
    • Labels (i.e., rad trad, neo-con, liberal, conservative, progressive, orthodox, happy-clappy, etc.)
    • Political topics
    • "Scandal of the day" type stuff
    • Other topics, including Catholic ones not directly related to the specific topic.
    • Current or recent events (i.e., Obama at Notre Dame, Fr. Corapi case, priest sex abuse scandal,)
    • Unapproved private revelations/apparitions and general discussion about such mystical phenomena (a discussion on detraction does not require us to examine what takes place within a sub-group of Catholics. 

      I know this is going to be a challenge for people, but we want the Catholics in the Combox series to be rich with discussion about specific topics. 

      Is your comment not moderated? It could have been rejected

      I will try to have comments moderated within a reasonable time. In some cases, it may take 8-10 hours if I am having difficulty on my iPhone approving them.   Email me at if you do not see it after that period and I will explain why I chose to reject.  My advice is to copy your comment to word or notepad if it is longer so you can paste and edit out that which resulted in rejection, then resubmit.

      Good things to add to the Combox
      If the subject is something like, Rash Judgment or Prudence, for example, here is what I would like to include in the discussion:

      Quotes directly related to the topic from:

      The idea here is to develop a habit of going to these kinds of sources to seek understanding.  Don't limit yourself to Google.  Use the search tool at places like New Advent which has a huge online library.

      Don't just comment; ask questions!!!

      A truly wise person knows what questions to ask, and has the humility to "ask away". Such a wise person understands that the "teacher" will often be an unexpected person (Matt 23:12)

      While I may link to a page on the Summa and quote it partially, it is good to read the entire linked Summa article before commenting. Read it slowly and more than once.  Learn to slow down.  The combox isn't going away so you can add your comment after you read other things.   If something goes over your head in the Summa, that's ok.  Ask a question about it in the combox.

      Ask short, simple questions out there about what you are reading. If you read something in the linked Summa article and don't understand a particular sentence or line - quote it and ask what St. Thomas means by it. Paste the link in the combox so people can read it in context.
      Use the dictionary if you cross a term or expression you do not understand. 

       Use a Dictionary of Philosophy for some terms too.

      Final Note: Play nice!

      It is my hope that Catholics who may otherwise be at odds with one another will engage in fruitful dialogue and come to a better understanding of how we can participate in the New Evangelization in the most God-pleasing way.
      Boys Shooting Marbles | H. Armstrong Roberts

      For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

      Te Deum Laudamus! Home

      The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!
      Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.