Reminder on Comments: This Is Not the Place for YOUR Unconstrained Freedom of Speech

A couple people have been sorely offended when I have deleted comments that violate my policies here. As a reminder, I ask that your comments be on-topic, civil in tone, not make slurs or highly offensive remarks about other religions (disagreeing with doctrines and beliefs is OK, when it’s on-topic), and not be excessively long and rambling. Links to video content will usually be deleted because I don’t want to take the time to screen video content, and links to hostile or offensive sites (most anti-Mormon sites) will usually be deleted because I don’t want to give added visibility to them.

Of course, there is a double standard. My posts may violate any of those policies. For example, I could go ahead and link to, if I wanted to. And I could say something offensive to the good Christians of Wisconsin, like, “Not all true Christians are Packers Fans.” But if you try such rubbish, SNIP! Or I may even pull out my E-Taser! Why the double standard? Because this blog, sad to say, is an expression of MY free speech, not yours. I’m really sorry about that, but those who are bothered by that are welcome to start their own blog.

Repeat postings of deleted comments is another form of bad behavior that really tries my patience (hello – if I deleted it once, I’m obviously not willing to have it posted again).

Author: Jeff Lindsay

32 thoughts on “Reminder on Comments: This Is Not the Place for YOUR Unconstrained Freedom of Speech

  1. teranno4x4,

    I think that the point of Jeff’s policies is to foster meaningful discussion on his site rather than to have it used for insult and attack. One can have an agreeable debate about doctrines that doesn’t involve ripping down other peoples’ beliefs.

    If you think that this is a “dictatorship controlled blog space” full of “narrow thinking” “like minded back slappers” then perhaps it is not the place for you. There are many other sites where Mormon beliefs are given no quarter. I, for one, enjoy being able to have open discussions on my faith in places where I don’t feel compelled to fight off people who insist I’m going to hell.

    For what it’s worth, I have enjoyed my exchanges with you.

  2. I’m not sure which part of “on-topic, civil in tone, not make slurs or highly offensive remarks about other religions (disagreeing with doctrines and beliefs is OK, when it’s on-topic), and not be excessively long and rambling” one could find disagreeable or interpret as fostering narrow thinking.

    I’m not a frequent commenter to this site, but I am a frequent reader of it. I appreciate the civil tone and the respect to all religions.

  3. I have to say that I am thankful that I haven’t been booted so far. I actually enjoy the comments made by all as they foster debate and the opportunity to express one’s own point of view. Forgive me if I play devil’s advocate a little, as too many “Yes” men, just bore me silly. Thanks Jeff for the topics and thanks to all for your posts, regardless of how slandering some may be, it’s all educational and sometimes enlightening for me.
    As for the armies of followers..pulease! Give me a break, Terrano! Are you this way in person too? Or is this your only source of trying to connect to those in the outside world? I mean, man, take a break once in a while. Even Christ spent some time hanging out at weddings and spending time with his buddies. I would love to really know what the dialogue was among Christ and His Apostles that isn’t found in the Scriptures. I mean really, they didn’t all speak in the Thee/Thou stuff 24/7 and to believe that they did is just plain ignorance. I bet there were times when they were just chillin and Peter was like “Man, I can’t wait when we cross over to Galilee so I can see my wife again. I miss her.” James would be like “Yeah I know what you mean, but heh, we’re doing a great thing with Jesus right now, so it’s worth it.” You know, those kind of moments. Anywho, thanks Jeff for the blog.

  4. Jeff, this all makes perfect sense to anyone who has run a blog with comments. How some people think they have a right to make someone else’s comment section their own personal soapbox or trash bin always amazes me. And the inevitable cry of “censorship” just shows they don’t know what they’re talking about (since they’re not censored — they can say whatever they want at a hundred other places, just not here).

    Carry on with your fine online work.

  5. Dear Darion,

    You don’t play Devil’s Advocate at all – you tow the party line. As long as you don’t actually agree with my comments – you will have no chance of being deleted. That makes you in agreement with all the other “yes men that just bore you silly!! ”

    You see Jeff has an abhorance for Biblical truth. I point out the failings – he deletes the comments.

    Of course Jesus didn’t talk in Thee’s/Thou’s – it shows ignorance on your part to imagine that he did. That was the limitting Middle Age translation into English – which is still the best English version available today. But you do have four different versions of events to compare that you can find many correlations of the group’s many converstaions.

    Yes I do have a wonderful life thank you, with loving family, friends and many different activities. Life couldn’t currently be better (for what it is worth on this earth).

    As I stated in a previously deleted comment, I am pleased that Jeff is a research scientist and not a judge.

    Anyhow enjoy life on these blogs without me – it seems that all effort that I make is going to be deleted anyway, regardless of how it matches up to his rules….


    “It is to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man” Ps118:8

  6. T4x4,

    I don’t think someone who writes “tow the party line” and “abhorance” should accuse others of ignorance. All of us are ignorant in one respect or another. Give a little slack.

    Civil dialog really isn’t that difficult. Pretend you’re talking to a really big guy with a bad temper, or maybe to someone with a loaded gun pointed at you. The challenge is to communicate something he may disagree with, but in a way that doesn’t make him mad.

  7. “Blessed are ye, if ye are not offended in me.” Terrano, man give it a rest. Are really trying to hurt my feelings? Because you’re going to have to try a great deal harder. It takes a great deal more than what you have served up here lately. Why don’t you try harder? I mean even a Pharisee with a third grade education could do better. That is if Pharisee’s actually go through the same education system as we do…which I don’t think that they do. So I tow the party line do I? Eh, whatever Terrano. Sit back and enjoy life a little.

  8. Now maybe we can starting enjoying Jeff’s posts more without all the negative preaching. This is one of my favorite blogs and I was about to go somewhere else if Terrano kept up with his negative and offensive comments. You can’t reason with someone as hard-headed as he is.
    Keep up with the great work, Jeff. This is your blog and you can do what you want with it.

  9. Hey, let’s also go easy on those who annoy. Same applies to me, though I understand the points you were making, just-deleted Anonymous. I thought the comments might just stir the pot too much. Sorry about that.

  10. Terrano4x4 reminds me somewhat of Paul before his conversion. Here’s hoping that his zeal and energy gets turned towards the correct (or at least a better) direction.

    Sometime between the Second Coming (the beginning of the Millennium) and the end of the Millennium, everyone will acknowledge the whole truth about Jesus the Messiah. (The “Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess” thing.)

    I think there will likely be many apologies both by those who fought against the truth, and by those who knew the truth and didn’t righteously defend it nor _humbly_ promote it.

    And those of us who haven’t been charitable to non-believers (or those who believe differently) will likely have many apologies to make.

    I have many friends, acquaintances, neighbors and relatives with whom I’ve never shared the gospel. In the Millennium (or maybe in the Spirit World too), we will likely meet, and they will say to me: “You knew the truth about God?!?!? Why didn’t you tell me?”

    And even those who actively and stridently disagreed with us may say: “You knew the truth?!?! Why didn’t you try to rescue me from my error with love?”

  11. Dear Bookslinger / Mormanity / Darion / Anon / Erelis,

    I never stated that anyone was ‘going to hell’ who communicates here. That would fall into judgement category and I am not the judge – only Jesus is.

    I attempt to communicate in His Spirit, using the Bible and the love of Jesus as my guide. If you have taken my comments out of turn then you have issues with the messages of God, not me personally.

    I love each one of you in Christian brotherhood – I have conveyed my thoughts without animosity, hatred, anger or spiked malice. If you get stirred up by the truth with words like ‘abhorance’ or ‘tow the party line’ that I write, then so be it, but it doesn’t leave me with the problem does it ?

    “Pretend you’re talking to a really big guy with a bad temper, or maybe to someone with a loaded gun pointed at you.” If I was ever in that situation, I would still talk in love and convey the truth, however hard that is to hear. Stephen found himself the same in his last sermon and was ‘deleted’ for it – sound similar ? I would behave in Stephen’s example – I have no fear of persecution.

    It depends on the nature of the topic, but I may be back. It is not a permanent goodbye.

    Bookslinger – the characteristics of your claim are correct, but unfortunately the Millennium statement isn’t. It isn’t possible for a spirit to ‘bow the knee’. This can only happen after the millennium when the wicked are raised at the second resurrection. Notice that they are still wicked. Yes, they will question why the truth wasn’t pushed on them harder – if I am personally asked by correspondents here, I only have to answer, ‘my comments were deleted’.

    Please also inform me who I have persecuted like Saul, it seems to me that you all are the ruling phariseeical sanhedrin and I am the Christian subjected to torture – or not ?

    I have enjoyed my time with you for the comments that remain posted. I will pray for your salvation in the name of Jesus Christ. If we individually are sucessful then we can harmoniously discuss our faults in unison in God’s eternal Kingdom of Love.


  12. Teranno, the issue around “abhorance” and “tow the line” is that they were misspelled. Should be “abhorrence” and “toe the line.” When accusing others of ignorance, misspellings come across as mildly ironic to some, but I don’t think it is fair to harp on that. Several fine skolars have made plenty of mistakes in their spelling.

    But I think you are a little too quick to assume the role of the righteous martyr when your comments have been deleted for violation of policy (off-topic, offensive, etc.), not for containing Biblical truth. And “tortured”? Well. Look, the repeat violations and the repetitive posting of comments that I had deleted became so bad that I was about ready to simply ban you entirely from the blog. It was a little disappointing to encounter what I perceived to be uncivil behavior from one claiming to represent God in truth and love.

  13. Teranno,
    What present day preachers/ministers do you listen to and look up to? I’m curious whose examples (besides those in the Bible, of course) you’re trying to follow.

    Don’t give links to their web sites, as that would likely be against Jeff’s policy, but just give us their names, and if you can, the names of their churches or ministries.

    Also, are you in the UK, or US? I think Nathaniel McRea (NM) is in the UK, and you came here shortly after he did, so I was wondering if you were one of his real-life associates.


  14. One of my favorite non-Mormon preachers is Dave Roever. He’s a Vietnam veteran. He’s like an itinerant evangelist who goes around to preach at special events at other churches.

    I went to hear him one night at a local Baptist (or Baptist-type, I’m not sure) church. There really wasn’t all that much that he said, less than 5% maybe, that was contrary to Mormon beliefs. And probably less then 2% if you were generous with “nuancing” what he said.

  15. Dear Jeff,

    If you are being analytical of extreme accuracy, then I actually said ‘tow the party line’ not ‘toe the line’.

    Thanks for the online lesson in English, I didn’t realise that I was being scrutinised – next time I comment I’ll make sure that I pull my spelling socks up. I sure hope that you make exactly the same observations with other commenters. Surely the message of my content is more important than the grammar, puctuation or spelling. I am not planning on publishing any of my work.

    If I can be criticised when trying to write or correct in Christian love, there is an element of when Jesus talks about casting pearls before swine and having them trampled underfoot. The pearls that I communicated were never attempted to be understood.

    Yes – I repetitively attempted to add a comment after it had been deleted. This was to give some the chance to read it before you came along again to take it off. What amazed me is that the replies tend to stay, but my comments are gone. Please confirm to all that I have never used profanity. You claim that I have been offensive. The pharisees claimed that not only was Jesus offensive but also blasphemous. It seems that ‘offensive’ comments depend upon which side of truth one can lean to. With regards to off-topic, yes there were a few occasions, but if you had allowed the thread to continue, I would have made the links back and the reasons for taking it off-topic. You prefer short comments, but it is not always easy to offer, when asked so many questions by commenters who are asking for expansion in reason. I apologise if this caused you offense, it wasn’t intended to.

    Maybe Bookslinger is accurate in his own belief above, maybe I am accurate in my following correction, maybe neither one of us is anywhere near the truth. But the question still comes Jeff – how will you respond if Jesus will one day look at you and state that my comments had some of the answers that you needed to take heed of. How will you look him in the eyes and answer that you ignored and deleted them because they do not fit comfortably with you?

    I know how I will answer.


  16. Dear Bookslinger / Jeff,

    If Jeff allows me permission in advance, one comment where I can discuss openly and without any chance of message deletion, then I will gladly share the information that you request.

    One immediate point is that I look up to no man. We are all created equal in the eyes of God. Jesus is my personal focus and He alone deserves my complete reverence and respect. All other people including my family fit into my life in secondary harmony to this.


  17. Grant you permission in advance to say anything without risk of deletion? Such an attractive offer. Sure, I’m game, if you’ll grant me permission in advance to put a sign on your front door that you promise not to remove, ever, no matter what it says. Deal? Let me put the sign up first. Or I can go with graffiti on the exterior sides of your home or apartment – that’s even better. Deal?

    Teranno, I wasn’t the one who made the gentle jab about spelling. Anon @ 11:43 did – no idea who. But I was explaining to you why it was raised as a minor and peripheral issue. I was even hoping you might get the little joke about scholars. I explained that it wasn’t fair to harp on someone’s spelling errors in comments, no matter how amusingly ironic they might be.

    My remarks on the spelling issue were there to clarify an issue you had misunderstood, and were actually supportive of you in explaining that it wasn’t fair to make it an issue. But you didn’t get that. Teranno, you really need to make an effort to understand what people are saying before you condemn. It’s been more annoying that talking to a wall. It’s not welcome.

    Just as you (improperly) criticized my little comment, you have repeatedly criticized numerous things that others have said. And yet you act totally indignant when someone critiques you, as if you are suffering persecution. You take reprises for your behavior and complain about abuse, about hostility, about being “tortured,” etc., over and over – while using insulting terms numerous times to describe me or others. Good grief.

  18. Dear Jeff,

    I got the little joke alright, although your jokey side has been too long in coming to the fore. I also know that the initial criticism didn’t come from you, although you seemed to want to amplify it slightly more with the deliberate sympathetic ‘skolar’ – or not? …… criticism justified.

    I have been honest, I have been blunt, I have been brave, I have been patient / tolerant, I have been understanding, I have been kind, I have been generous, I have been courteous and I have been frequently jabbed too many times to find it funny. Humans have only two cheeks, so to keep jabbing doesn’t bring cheer – sorry.

    Maybe this will explain some of the more upfront outbursts that I felt needed to be posted. They still did not cover the deleted ‘labels’ that you gave them of ‘rude’, ‘offensive’ or ‘with hatred’. Come on man – be honest with me if you are going to jab at the same time!

    You are welcome to come and visit me in person and behave as you choose. I will take no action against you other than ask what would motivate you to want to do it? My neighbours and the legal regime may have something slightly stronger for you in their greeting! But I am game too if you want to follow your request through.

    There is no other motive from my side to plaster your thread with all sorts of undesirable links and comments – I will simply and concisely answer the questions posed last by Bookslinger.

    Your site – your choice – yes or no will suffice in reply, not comments about where I live. They were off-topic and should be deleted – funny huh?

    ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’….


  19. T-man,

    Why don’t you put up a blog, and show us how it’s done? It’s free, after all.

    Maybe you can lead the way, and demonstrate to Jeff (and the rest of us who have blogs) how blog-owners should allow any and all comments to stand.

    And I’m still curious as to which church you attend, and who the pastor(s) is(are). Give us some Google terms so we can find it easy in Google (instead of posting a direct link.)

    Are there any other churches, besides the LDS church, who claim to be Christian, but you say they are _not_ Christian?

    How about:

    1. The Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).

    2. The Roman Catholic church.

    3. The Eastern Orthodox (Greek) Catholic church.

    4. The Episcopalian church.

    5. The Lutheran church (the two or three main branches).

    6. The Methodist church.

    7. The Presbyterian church.

    Are those churches Christian in your view?

  20. P.S. T-man, I attend the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the one based in SLC Utah), and the earthly leader is Gordon B. Hinckley. And I believe he was chosen by Christ to lead the church under his (Christ’s) direction.

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