Saturday, October 30, 2004
I guess the role of a moderator is quite literally to "moderate" things, ie to calm passionate discussion when it gets too passionate, and to help antagonists find common ground. One of the things that I like best about MOJ, and am proudest of, is that I have had to do virtually no moderating. Our blogistas and guest blogistas have debated with a civility unusual in the blogosphere. Non of the characteristics of that world I find so tiresome -- snarkiness, flaming, pointless monologues on trivial points, bad writing, impulsive and poorly-thought-through posts -- have been present here. Even more important, our blog group includes Catholics of widely different stripes. Such diversity of opinion is very unusual in the blog world, and also not the norm in Catholic journals and organiztions. I think the fact that MOJ is a place where Catholics who disagree with each other about something as important as this election can confront each others arguments intelligently and without rancor is one of the reasons why our average daily hits went last week from about 250 to over 2600. I thus have encouraged my fellow blogistas to continue this discussion over the election because the issues are of historical importance and we are doing as good a job of covering them as anyone. I thus regret that Cathy feels compelled to leave this discussion. I agree with Cathy that Greg's last post, at least in tone, crossed over into a kind of partisanship inconsistent with the tenor of his prior posts. On the other hand, Cathy has tossed down the occasional rhetorical gauntlet herself. I hope we can all put bad feelings aside and continue this important discussion remembering that as Catholics there is far more that links us than sets us apart.