Sunday, October 14, 2007

Christian Civility in an Uncivil World: A New Book

A group of Christian men and women have been brought together by Mitch Carnell, Editor, to publish a book on the subject of Christian civility. I have been asked to write a chapter about Christian civility on the Internet.

One of the contributors to this new book is Dr. Richard Mouw, President of Fuller Theological Seminary, and the author of a twelve-year-old book entitled: Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World

On there are four reviews of Dr. Mouw's book. One reviewer, Daniel B. Clendenin, Ph.D., writes:

Mouw shows how and why Christians should not only be people of conviction, but people of compassion and civility. We are, he reminds us, to "pursue peace with everyone" (Hebrews 12:14), and to "show every courtesy to everyone" (Titus 3:2). Civility does not mean we have to like everyone we meet, forfeit our convictions to a relativistic perspective, or befriend people as a manipulative ploy to evangelize them. Rather, it means caring deeply about our civitas and its public life, because God so cares. After defining the nature and parameters of Christian civility, Mouw investigates its implications for our speech, attitudes, pluralistic society, sexual mores, other religions, and leadership in a fallen world. He explores the limits of civility, when there is no "on the other hand." His chapter on hell asks whether we can believe in hell and still be civil. In his final two chapters he cautions against out tendencies to triumphalism, and trying to usher in the kingdom of God right now, as opposed to appreciating the ways and means of a patient, slow-moving God who loves His creation deeply and longs to redeem it.

Well said.

I would like your thoughts on Christian civility, particularly as it applies to interaction with people on the internet. I have plenty examples of what Christian civility is not on the internet, but I would like your thoughts, comments, anecdotes, and suggestions on what Christian civility on the internet should look like.

In His Grace,



irreverend fox said...


my list would be

1. no ad homonym attacks
2. no vulgarity
3. thou shalt not lie
4. do not censor anyone...ever...unless rule 1 or 2 or 3 are broken.

Anonymous said...


This is a thought provoking question.

It seems to me that it might be easier to define what it is NOT than what it is.

I also want to be careful because I do not want some kind of self-righteousness rising up inside me as I struggle to answer it.

Let me first try what I think Christian civility is not.

I think it is not:

1. overly harsh to another's viewpoint.
2. condescending ["Dear" __________ I think is a no, no for example]
3. reactive
4. speech that has alot of unnecessary mustard on it.
5. overly accusative towards another's "motive(s)"
6. overly dogmatic
7. speech that exaggerates what another has said that one has a problem with.

I think it is:

1. speech that might show an ability to grasp another's viewpoint that one disagrees with.
2. speech that might show a sympathy to a part [or parts] of another's opposing argument if there is a part [or parts] that one can be sympathetic towards.
3. speech that might be direct, indirect or a combination of both. [I don't think someone should not be taken as "uncivil" if they are merely being straightforward with a view that is offensive to some]
4. speech that might be seasoned with Christian charity towards another one disagrees with.
5. speech that might be tentative at times.



Anonymous said...


#3 should read:

3. speech that might be direct, indirect or a combination of both. [I don't think someone should be taken as "uncivil" if they are merely being straightforward with a view that is offensive to some]

Steve said...

One aspect of incivility in Internet communication that I have seen among Baptist clergy more than in the general population is a condescending paternalism. For an occupation which often already appears to be using some culturally untenable explanations for its own single-gender & financial status (e.g., Eve ate the fruit first), paternalistic speech taints everything that is exressed along with it.

Anonymous said...

Check out Ed Stetzer's blog--a perfect example of Civil (and helpful!) blogging.

Bob Cleveland said...

Since it's God's work, courtesy of Jesus, we're about, how can we go about it in some other way than Jesus would go about it, Himself?

Maybe someone ought to print up some WWJB bumperstickers to past up over our monitors.

Marty Duren said...

"I really like him..."

Lin said...

Since over 80% of what we communicate involves tone and visuals, the civility question will always be subjective.

One wants to be brief when commenting but brevity can read 'abrupt' even when the author is smiling or crying while writing.

Avoiding brevity for these reasons means comments that are verbose.

One wag suggested a more liberal use of emoticons but from what I read, that gets on Ben's nerves. :o) Oops, Sorry.

John Daly said...

Every time I make a comment, I endeavor to ensure two things: Is it God honoring and Christ exalting and is it true. But the comment need not shy away from controversy if the honor of Christ is at stake.

Anonymous said...


Could you provide us the basis you have used to come to the conclusion of Wade's "antaganism" and "disingenuous conciliatory behavior"?



Bennett Willis said...

To paraphrase the Engines of Our Ingenuity author, 'put the most benign interpretation on the text and then make the most enthusiastic possible (for you) response to that interpretation.' This has worked very civilly every time I have remembered to try it.

Bennett Willis

david b mclaughlin said...

I think it boils down to manners. One should speak on the internet the way they would to someone face-to-face. If someone talked to my face the way they did on the net sometimes they would likely get a smacking. Which is why they wouldnt do it face-to-face, which is why they shouldn't do it on the net.

I am reminded of 1 Peter where it says to always be prepared to give an answer for the hope that we have BUT WITH GENTLENESS AND RESPECT! Alot of people forget that last part. Myself included at times.

I also heard someone say something recently that made be think of the blogosphere. They said, "Every battle is not YOUR battle." That is something I have been thinking alot about lately.

kehrsam said...

kmc wrote: Irreverend Fox: keep in mind that arguments are only ad hominems when and only when the premises are false. The abusive is nearly always a fallacy, the circumstantial only sometimes, but when the premises are true, the premises are true, there is no way the tu quoque or guilt by association can be characterized a fallacy.

The chapter that Wade writes in this book will be a logical fallacy in appeal to authority.

Arguments can certainly be ad hominem even when all the premises are true: The premises may be non-sequiturs. Similarly, tu quoque is almost always a fallacy; I really have no idea what kmc's point is here.

How kmc knows what Wade will write in advance is interesting as well, but flows nicely into my main point, which is addressing the topic of civility.

1. Assume persons who disagree with you do so for the reasons stated, rather than inventing motivations. It helps if you can believe that their views are sincere, and that they have some rational reason for their belief. If you cannot yourself make a plausible argument leading to your opponent's conclusion, you probably don't really understand it.

2. Always be willing to accept that you may be mistaken. "The Bible says" is a wonderful debating tool (and a fully justifiable argument from authority), but keep in mind that while the Bible is true, its interpretation is entirely in the hands of we sinners.

3. I once received some advice from a college Professor which has served me very well: "When you or someone else get emotional about an argument, always try to pretend that the other person is your daughter."

4. When in doubt, "love thy neighbor as yourself."

Blessings to all,

Kurt A. Ehrsam

irreverend fox said...

I think lin's insight is dead on...and partly explains why some people don't know how to take me.

I do my best to keep it short...and that probably comes off very blunt.

And my wonderful sense of humor is often misunderstood...which is not my problem of course. said...


I agree with you about the use of emoticons - and believe they should be used liberally. I disagree with Ben on this matter, but gracious disagreement is always welcome on our staff and in our church.

Wade said...


Wise, wise words. said...

Bennet, Benji and Bob (the three B's). Good ideas one and all. Marty, quit making fun of me. :)

KMC, we would welcome your insightful comments connected to the post.

Unknown said...

This comes primarily from observation.

In regard to self:
1. speaking/writing in defensible statements (factual, evidential as much as possible)
2. drawing conclusions based on defensible statements (that means the conclusion goes w/ the facts)
3. admitting errors in grammar (it really can change the way a post/comment comes off) and judgment (of any kind)
4. admitting ignorance (lack of information/inability to come to a solid conclusion)

In regard to others:
1. seeking to understand another's position/opinion/conclusion
2. debating facts/evidences in another's post/comment, NOT motives for the post/comment
3. admitting superior reasoning/information (it's called LEARNING)

In regard to our Lord's representation in posting/commenting:
1. speaking truth at all times (which includes admission of error/wrong-doing)
2. conveying grace and mercy even in disagreement
3. desiring a darkened world to be enlightened to Christ and his gospel even thru blogging

mark sims
FBC Perrin
"the greatest church in Texas!"

Steve Young said...

I believe that the most civil blogger I read is David Rogers. His recent give and take with Yarnell is a wonderful example. I do not always agree with David, but he does such a good job of staying on topic that his blogs are enjoyable.

Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree with bobclevelands comment " . . .how can we go about it in some other way than Jesus would go about it, Himself?" We are NOT going to agree on everything, so let's agree to disagree with grace AND humility.

greg.w.h said...

My concern is that the call for civility would be separated from the call for authenticity and honesty. The result is--in my experience--"manners" used as a system to enforce compliance. Any system can be gamed, and civility is just a system that attempts to impose reasonable behavior on people.

What is the source of our unreasonable behavior? Of course the quick answer is "sin". But I've come to the conclusion that it's more than just sin. The way I tend to express my viewpoint regarding this topic is: "people are essentially irrational."

This falls apart into a number of observations:

1. Necessarily, each individual is more caught up in his or her individual life and all thoughts are framed by that perspective.

2. While we ask people to reason through decisions, most people use intuition to make decisions and then apply reason to explain the decision to others.

3. When we deal with others who are essentially irrational, it becomes quite easy to see #1 and #2 in THEIR behavior, while it remains ridiculously impossible for us to see it in OUR behavior.

4. Jesus's leadership wasn't calling for papering on appearances as much as dealing honestly with who we are. But many people fall for the trap of using etiquette, manners, and civility as tools to get what they want.

5. In addition, Jesus's management of his relationship with the religious leaders of his day was hardly civil. Is that what Jesus would have us do as well? Or is there time for civility and time for anger? And, unfortunately, is the time for anger a little more often than those of us with Southern upbringings would prefer?

I've been involved in online communities of various sorts for over 20 years. It is a constant struggle to communicate clearly. I prize my ability to write. Yet I often struggle to communicate. I'm as guilty as the next person of acting on my intuition of what the other person is trying to do TO me. But I'm not that far off most of the time on what my intuition is telling me. The problem is that it is very much a one-way street: I can anticipate where others are playing me. But I have a very difficult time not playing them as well.

Hence my concern that authenticity and honesty are easily tossed over the side in the search for civility. Authenticity can make our skin crawl when we're being inauthentic. Honesty can be viewed as brutal even when it is carefully couched: because we really don't want to hear that others see us as clearly as they really do.

I don't have all of the answers, but whatever we try to do needs to pass the "smell test" that I outlined above. Just making (and enforcing) a bunch more rules doesn't seem to me to be any kind of answer at all.

That's why your efforts with the IMB caught my attention in the first place. When I was being trained as a project manager at Perot Systems, they shared with us the "Abilene Paradox". The central thesis of the paradox is that groups of people will choose outcomes that NONE of them like in order to "get along." And then when they find out after the fact that no one liked the decision, they'll blame others in the group for forcing them into the decision.

Often bad decisions get made in the corporate world through a troubling combination of the Abilene Paradox and power competitions. Essentially that's what happened at the IMB in my opinion. Those who disagreed with those policies wouldn't normally oppose them assuming the ones who presented it either had the power to pass it or that the basic outcome would not end up negatively.

So wherever we go with civility, not only must we take into account each actor's tendency towards selfishness and irrationality, we also need to protect against the group being "cowed" into herd behavior either as a result of the Abilene Paradox or by the strength of the leaders. That's why the discussion of civility necessarily must include the topics of honesty (even of the brutal variety) and authenticity.

Greg Harvey

kehrsam said...

Greg Harvey: Excellent points, thanks for your input.

I'm not sure I buy the "Abilene Paradox" for Southern Baptist churches, however. "Going along just to get along" does not describe the churches where I have been a member. "Herding cats" is a better description!

In any case, I don't think more rules are the answer to online civility. Rather, I think the central concept is humility.

In Christ, Kurt

Darryl said...

For the past year, I have observed Christian blogs (mainly SBC), and have been quite troubled by what I have seen. I'm not a pastor, have never been to seminary, and claim no expertise in civility. However, last month I felt strongly enough about what I've seen to write a short commentary and post it.

If your interested, feel free to check it out.

I guess what troubles me the most is the source of much of the uncivil behavior I have observed . . . the shepherds of the church.


ml said...

I can give you the why of civility, especially among believers. Read John 17:20-23 from the perspective of our greatest Apologetic contra our excellent wisdom, rhetoric, or even traditional apologetic reasoning [spoken against in 1 Corinthians].

The how is a much more difficult thing to approach. However, the old Frontline Leadership training material advice is to stick to the issue and not the personality. Stay on topic and out of personalities and it tends to allow for give and take without resoting to character assasinations which rarely advances dialogue. said...


Your last post is very relevant to the topic in that it epitomizes the problem.

I would suggest that Christ Himself is not pleased with someone calling His children goons and swine. I could be wrong, so I leave you in His hands. If your words are worthy of His blessing, I submit to His decision on the matter. If not, well, that is between you and Him.

Anonymous said...


Could you provide us the basis you have used to come to the conclusion that "This blog is set up for the very purpose of fighting."?

Also, you never answered my original question--which of course you don't have to, but then again crickets can communicate as well.



P.S. Was the goon comment supposed to scare me away?

Anonymous said...

Civility goes two ways. Being civil while typing, as well as while reading.
Much of the "incivility" stems from the way a person chooses to read another person's words. The best way to keep myself civil, is to read the words of another and assume they have the best of intentions when reading them.
Sometimes posts are uncivil regardless of how one reads them, but much of the time we insert our own thoughts and emotions and THAT is what makes them "appear" uncivil.

Anonymous said...

I believe it was Emily Post (I'm dating myself) who said that good manners are nothing more than being kind.

Florence in KY

david b mclaughlin said...

"people are essentially irrational."

That'll preach!

kehrsam said...

kmc said: Was it not Christ himself you used the word "swine" to denote those who simple do not understand such wisdom?

No actually. Yes, He used a metaphor that involved pearls and swine (and a rather nice example of chiasmus as well), but He did not call anyone a swine.

Jesus did call the syrophonecian woman a dog, but was almost certainly inviting her response. In general, He did not go around calling people names. Was there a point to this comment? said...


It's not piety, it's truth.

You are in the hands of Christ.

DL said...

Perhaps the old phrase "A drunk man says what a sober man thinks" is applicable to the internet as well. The internet is like a buffer that can dull our sensibility similar to how alcohol can. We feel "six feet tall and bullet-proof" online. Beyond the ability to expose someone as foolish and unworthy of conversation, there really is little accountability online, so people just have at it. We accept from ourselves, and other folks online what we would find obnoxious and worthy of serious rebuke if carried out in person. On the plus side, the internet has a way of putting on display for all the pride that is way too prevalent in all our hearts. If we are careful observers of our own as well as others' behavior online, God may be pleased to use it as a tool of transformation. said...


It would probably be best practice to not respond to KMC's name calling posts since they shall not make it through the judgment and will be banished to the bin of wood hay and stubble.


foxofbama said...

Wade: I have been encouraged by some of your blogs lately, particularly the one on Mark Noll.
I strongly hope you will take a look at the site, particularly the testimonials there for a way forward, and the Christian Science Monitor report on this initiative to get passed the brain dead debates in the culture war, "and the nastiness."

Anonymous said...

I thought I was at rock bottom on my level of respect for KMC...

...then I listened to part of a sermon he "preached" in August titled "Are You a Happy Christian?".


Ah, the "Fast forward" button. One of the many small blessings of life.

Wade - I know it will be difficult to let my comment stand. It's crudeness challenges KMC's comments and, at the very least, I have sunk to his level. However, don't let deleting it bother you if you must in fact do so. For I have emailed this comment to his two pastors as well.

On a hilarious side note, without knowing what I was doing, my wife walked in the room as soon as the playback started and KMC started "preaching". She began laughing hysterically when she immediately heard the voice ring out in hollow authority both boldly and loudly saying "Are You a Happy Christian?"

Seriously, when she heard that she said she thought I was listening or watching a clip on You Tube of people mocking preachers.

This is all so uncivil. :)

Bennett Willis said...

The "Abilene Paradox" was (I think) first presented in a magazine published by the American Chemical Society called "Chem Tech." [The author presented it as something that had happened in his family. He then went on to talk about ways to avoid doing things that no one really wants to do.] The title of the article was along the line of, "How not to go to Abilene." It went into much more detail than the Wikipedia link and was a story that most of us could identify with.

Among the ways to avoid this is to always make sure that some alternatives are talked about. The simple question, "Why are we doing this in this manner?" will often open the realization that it is really not what the best thing to do. You can even just say, "Is this what we really want to do?" If you say it “blandly” it will generally be reasonably received. The thing that was to be avoided was doing something that did not fit anyone's idea of what should be done. This can be done very civilly.

If it seems a bad idea to you, you should at least say something mildly negative to neutral to give others the opportunity to agree or disagree. Often you will find a lot of unexpected agreement that was just “going along.”

Bennett Willis

kehrsam said...

Rev. Burleson: I agree. Jesus does not need me to respond to libels against Him. But I find it difficult to sit back when someone intentionally misquotes Him. It no doubt has to do with all the years I was the one doing the misquoting. ;-)

Peace to all.

DL said...

Though I have my first sermons from ten years ago on video somewhere, I wouldn't want to be assessed on the basis of them. I believe kmc said he's new to preaching. I pray God shapes him into a useful vessel in the pulpit for his glory, in spite of the lamentable fact he seems to be an easy target now.

Liz said...

I think it is civil to not be anonymous. :-)

Anonymous said...

I suggest that Christopher Columbus is an illuminating example of Christian Civility in an Uncivil World.

Glen Alan Woods said...


I am an infrequent commenter, but a frequent observer of this blog. I have been blogging for about 3 years, and involved in online community through IRC (Internet Relay Chat) for over 8 years. I have been in charge of a large Christian IRC network for about 5 years. My point is that my comments come from some amount of personal experience.

Here are some basic guidelines we use on the Christian IRC server as a way of conducting ourselves. I have edited them just a bit to apply to blogging.

1. Text always comes across harsher than personal offline communication. We cannot see facial expressions, hear tones of voice, or pick up on any number of non-verbal clues.

So make an extra effort to measure your words, especially with blogging. Emoticons can be helpful as long as they are sincere. After a season of reading your text, readers are able to discern sincerity. Consistent kindness, even in disagreement, earns respect.

2. Ask someone you trust to give you the unvarnished truth to review any potentially controversial blog post before posting it.

3. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Remember, just as people can misinterpret your messages given the limitations of text, so also can you misinterpret theirs.

4. Use common sense when choosing topics or responding to posts or comments. I don't see a lot of value in listing a lot of specific do's and don'ts, but I think decency toward others and respect for others is helpful. In essence, follow Jesus' command to love our neighbors as ourselves as a direct corollary to loving the Lord God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.

5. If internet community creates such a condition in your heart that you find it impossible to be civil, consider logging off, unplugging your computer and finding a different hobby.

Emily Hunter McGowin said...

Wade and all,

My husband and I have not been married as long as many on this comment thread, but we have tried to be intentional about fostering good communication. (Especially after a rocky second year!) When there is an instance of misunderstanding, one of our governing principles for resolving the matter is: "It doesn't matter what you meant to say. It matters what I heard."

To transfer this to blogging, I would say that it doesn't matter what you mean to write/type, it matters what people read/understand. The way this works out in practice is that you are to write/type with the other person's understanding in mind.

Making comments based upon this principle is very difficult, for it entails a great degree of effort to be clear and precise. And, it doesn't always work. Sometimes even the most carefully crafted comments are misunderstood and picked apart. And, sometimes your own emotions get in the way. Se la vi.

But, at the very least, if you keep the other(s) always in mind, it is unlikely you will ever resort to some of the "no-no's" listed so far (ad hominem, etc) and you are more likely to have fruitful dialogues, rather than ping-pong matches of frustrated monologues.

Grace to all,


Emily Hunter McGowin said...

Funny: My phonetic spelling of the expression Se la vi is actually Spanish for "I saw his/hers/theirs." That's what you get for typing too fast. I think I was breaking my own rule. What I meant to type was C'est la vie. said...

K Michael Crowder has deleted his comment that contained profanity, and has promised me that he will never again comment on my blog.

The Lord does exceedingly abundantly more than we could ever ask or think.


jasonk said...

The sad thing is that he has blocked access to his own blog so no one can go to it without an invitation. NOW what will I do?

david b mclaughlin said...

interesting, just accidentally ran across this article on the topic of civility, though not about the net:

david b mclaughlin said...

Oops! Linked chopped off. You'll have to put it back together:

Anonymous said...

Let's hope KMC is civil enough to keep his promise.

For some reason, I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

For a great example of how we can and should treat one another in the blog world, make a visit to sbc IMPACT!


davidinflorida said...


Christian civility on the internet should be the same as if you were conversing with someone face to face with all those on line there with you. After all, we are Christians.

Hiding behind the firewall of the computer to condem or judge someone goes against the Bible in many ways, especially James 4:11 and 1 John 3:15 to name a few.

The only difference a Christian blog should make, is that it gets more involved in the discussion with more ideas and comments. It shouldn`t be a place for a hit and run.

Steve said...

It is so ironic that Wade's blog should become the site of uncivil responses as the time for this book should draw near. We posters have often fussed at each other but pretty much everyone has realized Wade bends over backwards to phrase things decently and with respect to all. Of course, it would be so much more entertaining if Mrs. Burleson's reactions were relayed to some blog site unedited and unafraid!!

Anonymous said...

David Mac talks about how folks will say things in an email which they would never say face-to-face (a rough paraphrase, but moderately accurate).

My boss is in one of these "Management Development" classes and send links from time to time. A topical quote:

"Flaming is a symptom of a larger malady - an epidemic failure of social restraint. The same syndrome seems at work in bloggers who take a perverse glee in attacks and threats ..., who somehow see Web rage as cool. In games like The Sims (an online role-playing environment), 'griefers' are players whose goal is to ruin the experience for other players. In chat rooms and on Listserv discussions, "trolls" take pleasure in baiting people into pointless arguments that waste time and energy." From CIO Magazine - Web Rage: Why It Happens, What It Costs You, How to Stop [June 28, 2007]

Unfortunately, regardless that this topic is important to us, we suffer not-unlike the rest of the Internet. We get trolls. We get griefers.

I have long made reference to folks saying things in emails which they'd never say to my face. A notorious example for me is a co-worker who would flame me without end while copying an entire department, yet when approached about it in person would sweetly say that "oh, you must have misunderstood my intent".

Trolls, like the poor, will be with us always. I much prefer the poor.

Gary In Norman

Anonymous said...

It strikes me as somewhat sad that the one who seemed to thrive on attacking people on the previous post (which was about reaching out with grace) has now got mad and quit on a post about civility. hhhhhmmmm

At the Cross
Darrell Treat

Anonymous said...

Using electronic media is similar to driving cars in the sense that it allows us to express ourselves with anonymity. This decreases accountability and makes us more bold in expressing ourselves without consideration of the other person. We behave differently than when face to face with that person. Sorry to say that I have broken in line in traffic and have honked my horn at people when I'm driving, especially if I have a car with dark glass so that they can't see me clearly. Email/blogs provide that same "dark glass" of anonymity. At least blogs usually open your profile to observation which provides some sense of accountability. I think we need to check each other's profile and let writers know their personal identity is under scrutiny. If they don't provide a profile, don't communicate with them.

Anonymous said...

rrr - You win the award for overstating the obvious. The anonymity issue has been discussed and rediscussed to no end.

The only workable solution is to allow free dialogue and interact as you wish with who you wish. It is ridiculous to try and control who can interact with who. Your remedy of profile checking doesn't solve the issue and it also doesn't allow for missionaries who rely on anonymity the (like me) to participate. I don't provide a profile but would still love to participate...if you don't mind, of course.

I say leave those who are sowing poorly to reap poorly. They get away with nothing. God knows their ways and He can see clearly. Even through dark glass.


Anonymous said...
Check out this site for good rules.
Ken Colson

Anonymous said...

Anonymous SLM1,

You wrote in response to my post:
"You win the award for overstating the obvious."
"I don't provide a profile but would still love to participate...if you don't mind, of course."
"It is ridiculous to try and control who can interact with who."

Civility????? Seems you're stressed.
God bless you brother/sister. Look at my profile and maybe you'll find we live near each other. Maybe you need to come visit with us so that you can escape your stressful situation and be in a level 1 situation for a spell. I know it gets rough on the field and frustrating when you're under scrutiny all the time. Forgive me if I some how seemed to imply that you be excluded from communicating. Sorry that my comments seemed obvious/repetitive.

Anonymous said...

hehe - Ummm, rrr...even though it's in black and white above this note, I'll spell it out for you.

First, you wrote:

"If they don't provide a profile, don't communicate with them."

Then you wrote:

"Forgive me if I some how seemed to imply that you be excluded from communicating."

Unbelievably clear, that's for sure.

I also wrote my comment with a big smile on my face. I'm not stressed in the least. I found it amusing that here was another person that thought they had a chance to control the trolls.

Again, I say...If you want to interact, interact. If you don't, then don't.

God see's the hearts, even through the "dark glass" you mentioned.

Relax and enjoy. That's what I'm doing.