We are proud of our liberal comments policy here at BJS. We like to say “It’s the only liberal thing about us.” We do not censor people who disagree with our editorial views or even those who post foolish comments. We do censor inappropriate foul language and incessant personal attacks but for the most part we have allowed comments to stand.
We are now going to exercise more control on our comments. The thing we are really going to be looking for is the assigning of motivation to other commenters or to our writers. Unless a commenter has empirical proof of someone else’s motivation we simply will not allow the assigning of motive. There are acceptable ways to ask questions about motivation but to outright assert that someone said or did something for a particular motive will not be allowed.
We ask all our readers to help us police this matter.
It has never been a total free for all here at BJS. We have censored several comments and commenters through the years. We even have commenters who are banned because they could not moderate their personal attacks. We have erred on the side of generosity, typically giving them two to three probation periods. In some case the warnings have worked to change behavior but in other cases it has not and so we have banned certain commenters.
Do not misunderstand this move. We are not banning hard or negative talk in some sort of politically correct manner. We are passionate about the truth of the Gospel. There is a time and a place for righteous anger. Jesus himself and the other authors of Scripture do not hesitate to use harsh and strong language. Likewise Martin Luther was known for fierce attacks on those who twisted and distorted the Gospel. We will be keeping a tighter control on comments but we shall also not hesitate to continue in the spirit of Scripture and Luther.
Tim Rossow, Editor
Joshua Scheer, Associate Editor