Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Five Simple Rules

I'll be honest. As much as it grows out of pro-life convictions, this blog grows out of dissatisfaction with the tone and direction of much pro-life discussion on the Web today. As a pre-emptive measure, I offer these Five Simple Blog Rules for commenters (and myself):

(1) Keep it on-topic. While I do want to explore the connections between and among various life issues when that seems appropriate to a practical action, this blog will be overwhelmingly devoted to going beyond the rhetoric on the specific life issue of abortion. That means we won't be talking a lot about the sexual revolution, the war on Iraq, embryonic stem cell research, consumerism, environmentalism, vegetarianism, or whatever other issues you (or I) may happen to be interested in at the moment. Just moms, dads, babies, and what we can directly do at this time and in this place to make a better world for them.

(2) Keep it practical. Readers are, presumably, most interested in what I'm most interested in: pragmatic ways to help real women in crisis pregnancies, to promote pro-life ideas to real people in their lives, and to create a truly life-welcoming, life-affirming, and life-sustaining culture. Despondent monologue about how bad the current culture is does little to serve this purpose.

(3) Keep it kind. Speak ABOUT the woman in crisis pregnancy, the post-abortive mother, the confused or angry or missing father, the pro-choice or pro-abortion interlocutor, just as kindly as you would speak TO her or him. Same goes for your fellow readers and commenters. If you would not speak kindly and helpfully to these people, please choose another forum in which to speak.

(4) Keep it ecumenical. Many pro-lifers (me too) have religious as well as natural reasons for thinking the way they do about human life. And of course prayer is one direct action we can take and discuss taking. Still, in the interest of creating and preserving common ground, let's not debate the religious reasons here. Other forums exist for that (also very important) discussion.

(5) Keep it bipartisan. Since this is a direct action blog, it will make sense to talk about a little bit of political action. This will obviously include straightforward, factual description of things like candidates' voting records and platforms. Still, same principle as above applies: no stickering, no bickering. Don't label your fellow commenters across the aisle, and don't begin with the assumption that, since their approaches and efforts differ from yours, they're not made in good faith. Disagree if that's honestly what you think, but do it with respect.

If we all abide by these guidelines, I think we'll get along just fine.

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