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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Has Christian doctrine been banned from HTO comments?

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

Note: This was submitted to the Bloomington Herald-Times but the editor refused to publish it.

Comment moderation standards on HeraldTimesOnline.com are very inconsistently applied, sometimes resulting in some very strange moderation decisions.

On December 20, I said in the comments for a letter to the editor (http://ow.ly/JwwO0) that homosexuality is a sin and rebellion against God. This statement is boringly normal across church history with plenty of evidence in both the Old and New Testaments to back it up.

I did not personally attack any individual. My comment was extremely tame in comparison to letters to the editor and guest columns I have had approved by the editor and published in the print edition, and much tamer than other letters published on that same issue, especially this one: http://ow.ly/Jwz7Z

Nonetheless, my comment was deleted.

Is Christian doctrine on sexual morality now banned from being discussed on HTO comments? If I said that greed, adultery or theft is "a sin and rebellion against God," would that comment also be deleted? What is the line for what sort of disagreement is permitted by the HTO moderators?

This was a very bad decision and underscores the frustration many people have with HTO moderation, especially given some personal attacks that remain. I respectfully request that my comment be restored.

Below are the rules for commenting on ConservaTibbs.com.

  1. A reasonable level of civility is expected. While it is expected that controversial political and social issues may generate heated debate, there are common-sense limits of civility that will be enforced.

  2. This blog is a family-friendly site. Therefore no cursing, profanity, vulgarity, obscenity, etc. will be allowed. This is a zero-tolerance rule and will result in automatic deletion of the offending post.

  3. Anonymity has greatly coarsened discourse on the Internet, so pseudonyms are discouraged but not forbidden. That said, any direct criticism of a person by name cannot be done anonymously. If you criticize someone, you have to subject yourself to the same level of scrutiny or the comment will be deleted.

  4. Please keep your comments relevant to the topic of the post.

  5. All moderation decisions are final. I may post an explanation or I may not, depending on the situation. If you have a question or a concern about a moderation decision, e-mail me privately rather than posting in the comments.

Thank you for your cooperation.