Here are the rules for leaving a comment.

(Click on the down arrows to see the details for each topic.)
(Last revised 2019/06/22)

The Basics

This blog was first conceived as a means to explore various trends within the Christian faith. Along the way, I discovered that many adults and children have been the victims of legitimate spiritual, physical and sexual abuse at the hands of pastors and churches. Others have experienced rejection because they do not march lock step with the current “vision or theology du jour.”

We’ve decided to impose certain parameters on the comments that we receive on the blog in order to allow for a robust, yet respectful interchange. We don’t mean to stifle passionate debate but want all who visit here to know that they matter, not only to God, but also to us. We’re grateful that readers would choose to visit this blog in the midst of their hectic lives. We want everyone to know that they are not taken for granted. I’m humbled that readers care to spend their precious time here. Know this, I pray for you.

The Prime Directive: All commenters must acknowledge the pain some people have experienced at the hands of pastors and churches which overemphasize a particular doctrine or which apply harsh and capricious discipline. We especially emphasize showing kindness to victims of abuse. TWW exists, in part, to provide understanding in this area. We’re dead serious about this.

General

Laws

This blog operates under the laws of the United States of America and the State of North Carolina. This blog and the servers that host this blog are located in the US and this blog is paid for by a citizen of North Carolina and are therefore subject to the laws of the United States and North Carolina. If you visit here from another country that is your choices. If you do so you are agreeing to abide by the laws of the US and North Carolina and not your country in your interactions with this blog.

What we collect

This blog saves various information about any device used to access this blog to aid in the operation of the blog. By this we mean things like your IP address, the device you are using, its screen size, and similar things. This is in addition to the information someone must enter to post a comment.

Cookies

This blog uses cookies to make it easier for someone to make more than one comment and not have to type their name and email for each comment. If you disable cookies on your computer the blog will not remember who you are from comment to comment and visit to visit.

Analytics

This blog uses Google Analytics so we can see in general where people are located when accessing the blog and collect details about the computer so we can see what size displays people are using and similar details. It also allows the blog to be indexed daily into Google’s search system. Google Analytics does not give us access to details about any specific computer that is accessing the blog just aggregate totals. We may change to another analytics system or add more systems. They will most likely collect similar information and make some or all of it available to us.

Permanence

By hitting the “submit” button you are granting us a non-exclusive license to publish your words around the world in electronic or other forms. Anyone commenting here should assume that anything submitted here may remain on the internet and be readable by anyone on the planet for the foreseeable future, and not just on this blog. No, we are not planning on selling your prose and getting rich; we are just pointing out the copyright situation and the fact that this blog is searched/crawled by google, archived by the archive.org, and so on. We will not go back and remove comments unless there is a strong compelling reason to do so. (We are the judge of what is compelling.) If you have changed your mind, state it in a comment, preferably replying directly to the older comment. If it’s a big change that affect comments across multiple posts we may post a note about it. But this is at our discretion. Untangling/unwinding a long series of comments that are quoted and referred to by others is just not practical. If you live in a jurisdiction where you have to right to remove information you previously put up then you waive those rights when you comment here.

WordPress

We use it with few modifications or plugin. Many things here happen just because that’s the way Worpress works.

Things you Must Provide

Name (Handle)

Because you must – see Information We Require/Request below for details

Email address

Because you must – see Information We Require/Request below for details

Website

A link to a web site about you. BUT see Information We Require/Request below for details.

Rules

Copyright

We jointly own a copyright to your comments. See “Permanence” above for details.

Be Nice

No personal attacks, threats, or anything similar. We don’t mind debate and contradiction, as long as it’s intelligent and polite. We will delete comments that contain what we determine to be name-calling or worse. We will place notification in the comment section that we have deleted the comment.

Note that sarcasm can be used. But be clear about it. And if we feel someone is trying to use sarcasm to cloak an attack we will treat the comment and commentor appropriately. 20190622

Be on point

Comment on the topic of the post or a related comment. Don’t broaden the comments to the overall state of Christianity in the world or how a refugee group is being treated in some country, or other digression unless that IS the point of the post.

Moderation

There are more details in the FAQ below.

Do not comment about moderation.

Do not try and circumvent moderation.

Do not get cute about trying to avoid being moderated.

We believe certain words and phrases are overused and are intended to intimidate, dismiss, or diminish.(For example, “bitter”). They show a lack of original thinking and may be manifestations of brainwashing by certain abusive groups. In other words, they are BORING. They will likely get a comment moderated. There is a thesaurus function on your computer. Use it!

There will be no discussion allowed on the blog regarding the reason for a comment deletion. Any follow-up comments mentioning a comment deletion will also be deleted.

Formatting

Don’t get cute with formating. The only tags we really want to allow are blockquote, bold, italics.

<b>Will make bold</b> -> Will make bold
<i>Will make italics</i> -> Will make italics
<b><i>Will make bold italics</i></b> -> Will make bold italic
blockquote should only be used if you understand how it works.

Links

Links shorteners are not allowed. Just don’t do it. Too many issues with SPAM and related things. We do not hate tinyurl.com and similar services, and they have a place, but not here on this blog.

Links are to be placed in raw format. No burying a link under text with A Refs. Same as link shorteners. If you copy/paste a link to another web site please check the link and most likely get rid of everything past the first “?” you see. And TEST the link in a new window to make sure it works. (Things past a “?” might contain information specific to an account you have, searches you have done, email addresses you want kept private, etc…)

Blog Rating

Foul language will not be tolerated. We get to decide what constitutes foul. Aim for PG-13 or milder.

Politics

No politics

REPEAT

NO POLITICS.

Yes we know there are some topics that can easily wander into this but we’ve decided to
Just Say No.

Sealioning and such

Sealioning is forbidden and sea lions will be deleted and banned. Follow this link for more details:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sealioning
Then follow the see also links. And follow them some more. We don’t allow any of those argumentative methods.

Please let me ...

Don’t use comments to ask us about trading links, writing posts for us for profit, or similar activities. If you think you might want to write or share a post that is on topic for the blog in general use the contact page to get in touch with us.

I'm right, you're wrong

You want to argue law, go away. If you want to state your theology is perfect and all others are wrong , go away. Maybe write a thoughtful email but don’t post comments about such.

Information We Require/Request

Email (Handle)

Because this is way WordPress works and this blog is built using WordPress. It will not be displayed. But it is how WordPress tracks commenters. Our policy is we will not disclose an email address unless there’s a legal reason or compulsion to do so or some incredibly urgent need for it. Yes, someone can make up a fake email address. But doing so will make it hard for us to get in contact with them if we have an issue with their comment. Also read below about someone’s picture appearing next to a comment.

Name

Because this is way WordPress works and this blog is built using WordPress. You don’t have to give your real name but there are reasons to think about this discussed later.

We defend your right to be anonymous; however, it is difficult to respond to everyone named “anonymous”. If you would kindly make up a name, we would really appreciate it. Responses will be much easier to follow.

This is how people will see you on the blog. We ask that you not use common names like Nancy or David as it can get confusing telling multiple Nancy’s or David’s apart over time. Think of something like “Nancy was a Catholic” or “David is getting older”. Just something to be a bit unique.

No deceptive use of names. Yours or others. Posting under multiple names to try and deceive us is not allowed.

We reserve the right to change the handle someone is using to eliminate confusion.

Website

This is an optional field that a commenter can use to refer to a website where they post regularly. NOT a web site to bolster your comment. We will drop comments with website links which appear to be SPAM or nothing but self promotion.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Comment Deletion

We love it when people disagree with us. Disagreement is the lifeblood of this blog. However, if things cross over a line into an attack or some similar thing, we may decide to delete a comment, with or without warning. We have only deleted a very small percentage of comments since the inception of the blog. In general we will mention when we delete a comment. But if someone is just flat out abusive or drops multiple comments which need to be deleted we may not mention it.

Links

Too many links in a comment will get you moderated. It is a SPAM thing. And NO, we will not say how many comments will trip you up. And NO, you cannot discuss this in a comment. We will free up the comment when we get to it.

Moderation

WordPress has an option to allow for a comment to be “held for moderation” for various reasons. When a comment is held it will not appear to the general readers of the blog until one of the blog admins releases the comment. The admins also have the ability to toss a comment or hold it “forever” if needed.

Moderation of People

We CAN place someone on a permanent moderation. This means every comment that person makes will be moderated. Basically being a jerk or breaking the comment rules repeatedly will get you on this list. At some point people who are on the list may get off of it via good behavior but we are not going to spend much if any time debating this. To be honest debating this is a great way to keep being moderated. We just don’t have the time.

If someone becomes a real jerk or just refuses to abide by the rules of the blog we might decide to never release any future comments from moderation.

Moderation Issues

All comments are passed through our moderation filters. Even those of the blog admins which means that yes, at times, we get moderated ourselves.

Everyone will get moderated when they first comment. Get over it. It’s a SPAM fighting thing. No one is singled out when they first comment.

We have a list of words that will trigger moderation. This does not mean that using these words will cause a comment to never appear. It just means that on some topics a lot of “trigger” words will get used and the moderators will have a lot of work to do freeing up moderated comments. Cute things like replacing some letters with * or similar will tend to get people permanently moderated.

All decisions of the moderators is final.

Censorship & The First Amendment

The US Constitution has a first amendment regarding freedom of speech and other things. But it does not guarantee that we have to pay for your freedoms. If you want to speak out about things that are not on point on this blog, you are free to start your own blog. It doesn’t cost much and isn’t all that hard to do.

Defamation, Libel and Slander

In order to be guilty of these in the US, two criteria need to be fulfilled.
1. The person making the comment must know that they are lying.
2. They must be lying for the sake of causing harm to another person.
Also, if someone is a public figure, the bar raises even higher.

If someone wishes to say that we can be sued for what we said or that one or more of our readers can be sued for what they said, the commenter must prove that the person who is making the comment is lying and that they know they are lying and that they are doing it to cause harm to the person who is the object of the lies.

We have been blogging years. We are well aware of the meaning of these words. Unfortunately some of our readers are not. We consider anyone accusing someone of libelous threats to be out of line UNLESS there is some proof of such statements. Idle threats are not welcome here.

If you really want to learn more about these topics here’s a good place to start:
https://www.eff.org/

The Moderators

There are 2 of us at this time. At times 3 or 4. At this time we all live in the Eastern USA time zone. Typically we are not awake in the wee hours before dawn. And at times all of us are busy with life. Or on an airplane. Or in Europe. Or just taking a walk in the woods. So if a comment gets moderated and isn’t freed up within 5 minutes or 15 hours, well that is just they way things work.

In general we will not edit a comment without notice. But if there is a typo or statement that’s causing an issue in comprehension or blog operations we may correct it without notice.

If the writer, or proponents of the writer, believes that a comment should not have been deleted (in whole or part), he/she/they may contact us through our contact emails. We will then decide whether to allow the comment as is or with modifications on the part of the writer or not allow the comment. The final decision is up to us.

Although we enjoy the give and take of discussions that go beyond the post in question, on rare occasions, the rabbit trail becomes contentious. We reserve the right to stop the discussion at any point. We will give one warning that we wish the particular comment thread to stop. We will then delete comments that continue in that particular vein. Once again, we will not entertain, on the blog, discussions on our decision. However, the commenters who have been affected may communicate with us, via our email, and we will consider their objections. The final decision lies with us.

We have received some comments that we are not fair in how we apply our rules. We agree, we are not always fair. But there is a purpose behind this seeming unfairness. It is a goal of this blog to attract those who might not be regularly a part of the conservative evangelical dialogue. We want to hear from them. Some of these individuals may not communicate in the same fashion we would expect from conservative Christians. Therefore, we may treat some individuals differently. If a reader disagrees with our decision, they are free to communicate with us by email.

OUR Soapbox

We are NOT your blog. If you have a hobby horse create a blog and climb on board. We might even point to it. But don’t use our comments to flog your topic of the day.

In the end, it is our blog. We take the hits and we pay the bills. If you want to start a blog with your own rules, then do so. We might even assist you in your endeavor.

Proxy Servers / VPNs

Yes, there is a place these for some people on the internet. And in general we will not stop someone posting comments if they are behind one of these. But if someone is walking the edge of breaking the comment rules, use of one or both of these will make us tend toward putting them on permanent moderation.

Why is my picture here?

At some point in the past someone, (you most likely), put a picture tied to your email address on this site:
https://en.gravatar.com/
If you don’t want your picture showing up next to your comments then change the picture at this site. If you messed up and the picture is going to cause serious issues we might be able to work with you to clear things up. But we can’t guarantee how quickly this can happen or if at all.

Guest Postings

We have several guest posters who write articles for this blog. Please contact us if you would like to submit a post for our consideration.

I want to start my own blog

Try one of the following places:
godaddy.com
squarespace.com
wix.com
wordpress.org

To wrap things up

In the end, it is our blog. We take the hits and we pay the bills. If you want to start a blog with your rules, then do so. We might even assist you in your endeavor.