A few weeks ago, I made the following requests of Mike, who has kindly put in the effort to set this up:
- Allow me to post any comments I have simultaneously to the blog and to him.
- Always provide a link back to the original post in his reply, so that readers can visit the source if they choose.
- Include a URL to at least the main blog page, and preferably to each post, in any printed material that may be generated based on our conversations.
- State in his first public comment that he intends to do this.
I would, of course, do the same.
I would also like to ask one more favor. As I'm sure you're aware, the web in general, and the blogging environment in particular, can be a pretty chaotic place. I have control over what I say, but I don't have any authority over the people who read and comment on our blog. We almost never moderate for content, which means that any random person can arrive at our site and say whatever they choose.
Recognizing this fact, I am sure you'll acknowledge that the comments section can be a wasteland of bad language and indelicate remarks. I will gladly agree to have a civil dialogue with Chuck, but there is no means by which I could enforce such a request on readers. From your direction, I'm fairly positive that any additional traffic we receive will include many comments which could be interpreted as "angry" and will accuse us of being everything from terrorist sympathizers to child molesters. This is past experience speaking.
If and when such comments come, I don't feel that they should in any way reflect negatively on Mr. Colson or his positions, and I ask that you extend the same courtesy to me. Please recognize the boundaries between posts and comments, and refrain from pulling quotes from other commenters to stand in place of what I am saying.
Naturally I mean no disrespect to the great majority of our regular commenters, who are of course almost universally courteous, witty, and attractive. I'm simply hedging against any drive-by postings that might make us atheists look bad.
I am posting this here so that you folks will understand what my expectations are. From my perspective Chuck Colson has agreed to these requests by proxy, and so if he doesn't honor them then I will politely refer back to this post and then end the conversation.
I don't really know what to expect in the way of future guests to this blog, but I would ask the regulars not to hold back, but please be as friendly as you can manage with visitors who don't share the same perspective as you.