Comments containing personal insults toward contributors or other commenters will be deleted at the discretion of the blogger in response to whose post the comment has been made. By all means feel free to express disagreement, but do it respectfully. Personal insults against third party public figures (e.g., Christopher Hitchens, George W. Bush, Winston Churchill) are allowed, but insults against their families (presuming these are not public figures) are not. One exception is that no disrespect for Jesus Christ will be tolerated. Comments containing personal accusations relevant to the discussion at hand (e.g., claiming that a commenter or contributor is “working for the other side”) will also be deleted unless accompanied by compelling evidence. Repeat violators of these rules will be temporarily or permanently banned.
In some cases we may also delete comments on grounds such as libel, obscenity, incoherence or stupidity. The Orthosphere is meant to be a bastion of civilization, so barbarity of any sort is likely to suffer the editorial axe.
While nonbelievers are welcome at this blog (although they will no doubt find some subjects of discussion uninteresting), they must appreciate that one of its purposes is for Christian traditionalists to work out the implications of their worldview. For these intra-Christian, or at least intra-theist, debates, it’s not reasonable for someone to put up an uninformed rant about how God is no different from the tooth fairy and then expect everyone else to drop everything and lay out three millennia of natural theology that he didn’t bother to learn himself. Of course, issues of natural theology should be – and are – debated here, but a Christian can’t be expected to justify every aspect of his worldview every time he opens his mouth. Thus, these sort of “all Christians are stupid” comments are discouraged, except in posts where the truth of Christianity is the actual issue at hand. Someone who steps out of bounds on this will get a warning, while further violations in that discussion will be removed. By nature, this rule is not even-handed – there are no enforced restrictions on the insults that can be hurled at atheism, Marxism, etc. We don’t believe in neutrality here. However, we ask our Christian commenters to treat others as they would want to be treated.