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Discipling the Future of the New City

Blogging Etiquette, Part I: You Don’t Have To Scream

A post by Scot Mcknight @ Jesus Creed has stuck in my mind subconsciously all week. That’s when you know you’ve read some good blogging…

The gist: don’t sing (or holler, for that matter) when you’re going through puberty because it comes out all screechy-like. In other words, young bloggers have a way of screeching emphasis on points that haven’t developed into mature opinions yet. And we’re not picking on teenagers here, we’re talking about people that are still in their formative 20′s and 30′s. Case in point, here are two perfect examples of mature blogging and immature blogging:

Mature: Eugene Cho talks about “Only Bible Idiots Vote Obama

Immature: Pharyngula talks about “Goddamned Cracker

I’ve found mature blogging to be even-keel, reasonable, cogent, without bullying and tantrums, and w/o anonymous “hit-and-run” commenting to insult somebody. Pharyngula is a grown-up older guy in academia… when you open up your blog saying:

“There are days when it is agony to read the news, because people are so goddamned stupid. Petty and stupid. Hateful and stupid. Just plain stupid. And nothing makes them stupider than religion.”

c’mon isn’t that a little childish for a university professor?

Eugene’s blog would seem to be incendiary but surprisingly you’ll find civil debate, even w/detractors. No slamming, ultimatums, hit & runs – sure there’s strong disagreement going on but nothing of the sort of sarcasm, tirades and rants you find @ Pharyngula. Sure you have a right to hate Christianity, and arguably, Christianity deserves it. But notice the difference between a “Christian blog” (Eugene’s) and an athiests’ blog (Pharyngula).

In the end, getting back to Scot Mcknight – his post has guided my thinking (and blogging) as of late. I’m still figuring it out and my voice still cracks from time-to-time with reactionary venom and youthful enthusiasm. These can be tempered with time, and maturity:

“During the period when the voice is changing we do not sing.” (Helmut Thielicke)

“The passions of young (people) are important, as is their enthusiasm. But some passions and some enthusiasm go too far when you are young, and when you get older and wiser those passions will be moderated into lasting wisdom. To use Thielicke’s image, passions make the voice screechy.”

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