Monday, January 18, 2010

A New Blog

I have decided to create a new blog to offer as a public service to the Unitarian Universalist Blogosphere. This was inspired by an escalation of the verbal warfare surrounding the dispute between Robin Edgar, the UCM, and the UU world in general. Relations have degenerated in recent months and years, to the point where many bloggers- myself included- simply stopped permitting Robin to comment. Then in the last few weeks, things went further downhill yet; more emotion from Robin's blog, and two new blogs, equally emotional, created about him- one with an obscene name, and one that's a parody of Robin's own.

To defuse this situation, and to attempt to reconcile the aggrieved parties, I have created a new blog for their use: Reason and Reconciliation This blog is intended to be a neutral ground where all can discuss their issues. I felt this necessary because both Robin and those who disagree with him have many good points that need to be heard, but they are never aired because of past baggage. This is an attempt to start afresh, to discuss these issues calmly and rationally. Whatever your past issues, bring only current discussion.

The only ground rules are these: No personal insults, no armchair psychoanalyzing, no spamming. Address people by their proper names; no nicknames or "cute" references; something you may find funny another may find offensive. No links unless they are absolutely necessary to understand the issue. Keep the discussion about the discussion; don't label the arguments made (such as "DIM" or "irrational")- labels do not advance understanding. Simply agree with them or refute them.

Robin, feel free to post there; you will never be banned from that blog. Individual posts may be bounced for rewording- blogger doesn't seem to permit detail editing- but you will be able to post reworded versions of a bounced post. Feel free to post issues you have with the UUA, or any member congregation. The only sort of posts not welcome are generic attacks; as this is for discussion, issues would need to be specific.

All other commenters, feel free to discuss any issues raised, and to raise your own... BUT... discuss only the issues raised, be logical and to the point. Anonymous comments are acceptable, as long as they conform. If you are going to use a pseudonym, please choose a unique one and stick with it, as an aid to understanding and following the discussion. (nothing more confusing than having more than one "anonymous"!!)

I invite all those knowledgeable in church policy and procedures to watch the discussions, to jump in if there seems to be a misunderstanding of policies, etc.
I am not moderating this blog for two reasons: first, that dialogue can begin immediately, without having to wait for me to log in and approve things, and secondly, because I'm so busy I've been neglecting my own blog- I have notes for dozens of posts I simply haven't had time to write. But I took time to do this because I thought it was important; please do not abuse the license I'm giving everyone.


John A Arkansawyer said...

Thank you for doing this. I have one comment from Robin still held in moderation on my blog, from way back in last year. I don't want to silence him and I don't want to encourage some of how he speaks and that's a hard tension to maintain. I'd love to see it reduced.

ms. kitty said...

This looks promising, Joel.

Joel Monka said...

John, if you feel that Robin's comment raises important points- and you must, because you're still holding it- feel free to post it on the new blog where you, he, all us can discuss and benefit.

Everyone, this is what I meant. Robin has some valid critiques; I've made many similar ones myself. But he's a lightening rod- many do not allow him to post as much because of the follow-ups as the way he says things to begin with. If that's your problem, take it to the new blog.

Robin, if you want to discuss an issue someone raised on their own blog, and you can't post there, take it to the new blog.

The new blog is intended as a baggage free zone- if can use it that way, we can accomplish a lot.

Chalicechick said...

I gave you your first post, at least I think it went through. said...

If this blog takes off please let me know and I'll include it on

Aaron Sawyer