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  • RSS Spirit of a Liberal

    • Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand September 15, 2014
      Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand: A Vietnam Soldier's Story has just been released. The title comes from a stanza of the gospel traditional, Down by the Riverside, with its refrain--"Ain't gonna study war no more." Golden Sand is a bold, dark, and intense retelling of the Vietnam experience through the eyes of an army scout that is […]
      Obie Holmen
    • Gay Games Symposium July 21, 2014
      I am pleased and honored that the UCC has asked me to moderate a symposium during the games entitled Queer Christians: Celebrating the Past, Shaping the Future. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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  • RSS There Will be Bread

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  • RSS The Wild Reed

    • Police, Pride, and Philando Castile June 24, 2017
      Well, now that Twin Cities Pride has reversed its decision regarding the presence of uniformed police personnel in tomorrow's Pride parade, I appreciate local community leader and businessman Ken Darling's invitation: Imagine this: What if the uniformed officers, whom the Pride Committee just asked to return to the parade, carried signs that said […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • A Visit to Grand Marais June 23, 2017
      This time last week my friend Kathleen and I were in Grand Marais, a town on Minnesota's North Shore of Lake Superior. It's a beautiful area of the state, and one which I had not visited since 2004. The area is renowned for its alternating rocky cliffs and cobblestone beaches, with forested hills and ridges through which rivers and waterfalls desce […]
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      My current blog is called the way ahead.
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    • Christmas at Litmanova December 29, 2016
      The Marian Shrine of Litmanova, Slovakia.Christmas 2017A forest chapel at the Slovakian Marian shrine of Litmanova.Stunning painting of the Sacred Heart inside the forest chapel.
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
    • Not Our President November 16, 2016
      To hear the simplistic denial of those who scream out with naiveté “give Trump a chance” as they condemn others engaged in selfless protest against a certain political and social tsunami in the making, is to ignore his life-time public embrace of policies that tens of millions reject as not just destructive, but evil per se. They are not mistaken.Those in st […]
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    • Another World is Neccessary: Anarchism, Christianity and the Race from the White House July 30, 2008
      I’ll be presenting at the upcoming Jesus Radicals conference in Columbus, Ohio. My session (on the relationship between Church and State) will be on Friday afternoon. If you’re in the area, drop by. I’d love to meet some of the folks who frequent this site. Here’s the info: August 15-16, 2008 St. John’s Episcopal 1003 W Town Columbus, OH [...]ShareThis […]
      Mark Van Steenwyk
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      From The New York Times: a definitive list of all of Trump's Lies ... Many Americans have become accustomed to President Trump’s lies. But as regular as they have become, the country should not allow itself to become numb to them. So we have catalogued nearly every outright lie he has told publicly since taking the oath of office.What's appalling i […]
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Some Thoughts on Comments.

We work as a team here at OT, and take decisions by consensus.  We’re a new site, and worked around the clock to get up by New Year, so some important things we should have cut and dried are still being formulated. One of these is a clear procedure for dealing with and responding to comments.  It’s an important topic though, so I would like to share with (provisionally) some of my own personal thoughts on the topic. These may or may not be incorporated into a final policy. We shall see.

I’ve been specially impressed by one commenter in particular, MarkF, whose enthusiasm for this site has led him to post numerous comments, and at length, to several of the posts. In these comments, moreover, he has covered more topics than just those of the original posts, but has also covered much additional ground:  notably, homosexuality, which was peripheral to the thrust of the  posts he was commenting on.    Now, I can fully understand Mark’s eagerness to participate here (we’re pretty excited too, and welcome reader participation), but I have suggested to Mark that he restrain his excitement, and exercise a little patience for now.

This is because in my view, comments should be just that: short, pertinent responses to the post at hand. Longer reflections should be turned into full length posts. (We cannot, sadly, undertake to publish everything that our readers might like us to, but if something is well argued and fits our broad philosophy – open, inclusive and progressive- we would certainly consider publishing). However, if we are unable to publish your longer original posts, you are always welcome to post them elsewhere:  even to create your own site, if you wish.

It is also important to remain relevant to the post. There is no point in taking as a starting point one idea, and turning it into a a lengthy discussion of several hobby horses. Speaking personally, if I come across a comment which is ridiculously lengthy and off the point, as a co-administrator I will be strongly inclined to edit it down to size and to relevance. ( I will do the same thing to anything which is rude or personally insulting, but that is standard practice).

Remember, if there is something you wish to say but is not part of the post you are replying to, be patient. We have a growing and strong team here.  We will most certainly visit and revisit most of the important issues facing the church in the modern world:  we just can’t promise to cover them all this week.  On homosexuality, which seems to be of particular interest to Mark, that is not a primary focus of this site, although we will be covering it. I have couple of posts on the subject in preparation myself: patience, please, Mark.

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3 Responses

  1. respectful, thoughtful, articulate: bang on target.

    • Thanks, Jim.

  2. Well put. I think it’s good to encourage longer responses via someone’s personal site. That is, after all, how blogging got it’s start. Namaste.

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