Mere Comments operates with the expectation that all posters will observe the following ground rules. We will delete comments we believe violate these rules, and reserve the right to do so without discussion or debate.

Remember, first of all, that each of us will be judged for every word we speak and write.

No hijacking. Strings that get way off line might be closed. It will depend on the judgment of the moderators, for some tangents can be quite helpful.

No personal attacks, name-calling, insults, or profanity. These will be deleted. Ad hominem arguments are not welcome.

Refrain from baiting, excessive sarcasm, and bombast. Such will be deleted.

Respect copyright laws: No posting of lengthy quotations and excerpts from other articles, books, sites, please. (You can always post a link to such material.) Our assumption will always have to be that permission has not been obtained. These will be deleted.

Disagreements with a moderator’s deletion of a comment, or with these site rules, should be sent by e-mail to the editor. Comments posted that argue such matters will be deleted.

Ask for clarification before condemning any argument that strikes you as stupid, absurd, or otherwise outre.

Be as polite as though you were speaking face-to-face and as conscientious as though you were speaking before a group.

Don’t try to have the last word.

There is not much virtue in being gentlemanly and agreeable only with those we think sensible, well-informed, and orthodox.

It is easy to be rude while restricting oneself to grammatically “affirming” sentences. A blogger may convey wholehearted contempt with “I will pray for you” or similar false pieties. Such condescension may be discovered and deleted.

When disagreeing with another’s post, one should address the contents of the post and not the character of the poster.

While ground rules are good, realize that if you post something in a forum like this you might cause a ripple. Those with thin skin should take heed.

Respect the ecumenical character of this site. Do not deliberately raise or encourage sectarian apologetics or polemics against other denominations. There are other sites for such things.

Deliberate or repeated defiance of the rules, including reposting of deleted comments, will be grounds for being banned from the site.

This is a Christian site, and Christians are instructed to “do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in all humility count others better than yourselves.”

Remember, finally, that each of us will be judged for every word we speak and write.

A permanent link to “Ground rules” will remain on the main page in the left column.

Finally, let me thank everyone for your participation and support, even those who have been offended or who have given offense. God knows that we all find ourselves on either side of that equation, myself included. Forgive me for the delays in dealing with the many requests. I know that what is in place will not please everyone (myself included!), will not be perfectly executed, but given our limited resources, it is the best that I can do. I trust that with Christian charity and forbearance, it will serve. It would be a sad thing if in a time of spiritual crisis, Christians who share so much in common and through such a high price, spent their time, like the apostles of old at the Last Supper, disputing among themselves! (Yes, I know, so what else is new?! But I dare not use that excuse at the Judgment. We’ve been forewarned!)