We wrote this policy well over a year ago. It has been and will remain in effect at all times, 24/7 since 2010. Sometimes we post it as a reminder.
The Christian Left is a group for Christian Liberals (Progressives) and their allies. There are plenty of other groups out there for right-wing conservatives or disgruntled leftists who don't think we're left enough. Trolls will be banned from the group without warning. It just has to be that way.
We realize there are plenty of people here who aren't "Christian" or maybe aren't even "Liberal." We've talked to many of them. They are here because they enjoy the page. They aren't here to taunt us. People who come here to taunt us or talk down to us because they have all the right-wing answers (or for any other reason) will be banned. Sorry, we're not changing this policy. It's a flat out waste to time to debate with them. We have far bigger things to accomplish.
As we've said before, if right-wingers want to have a polite discussion and ask questions, that's a whole different cup of tea. Frankly, we haven't met very many right-wingers like this. They usually know it all and are not open for discussion of any kind. We've seen what they've done to other pages like ours. They move in, take over, and the whole thing becomes a big mud fight of endless one-upsmanship and bickering. Then the name calling starts. Not going to happen here.
This policy applies to Concern Trolls as well. For more on trolls, please see: Troll (Internet). Concern Troll = "We're just concerned about the way you're running this page, and we think you need to do X,Y,Z or stop doing X,Y,Z!"
We make no apologies about this policy and we never will. It is designed to protect our admin team and our community members. If we've ever been overzealous in the enforcement it stems from our desire to protect the community. Concern trolls often get very, very upset when they don't get to force their will on TCL. Sometimes they go to great lengths. It just proves that their intent was never innocent in the first place.
We're amazed at the sometimes persistent arrogance and belligerence of those who just want to argue or throw insults instead of have a mutually respectful dialogue in which all parties are interested in learning something. However, as we said, trolls don't last long around here. We just boot you out the door, and no it's not for "disagreeing." Frankly it's for being like the kind of house guest who comes in starts trashing the place and pees on the floor. Like you wouldn't kick them out of your house pretty quick too? You bet you would.
Our community members don't want to be harassed here. They don't want to be spoken to in and accusatory or condescending manner. For that matter, neither does the TCL admin team. We all get enough of that from friends and family because we're Christian progressives. We've devoted tens of thousands of hours keeping TCL a troll free haven (including concern trolls). 99% of our members appreciate the policy.
Please review our Code of Conduct if you haven't recently. We absolutely refuse to allow flame wars of any kind from anyone left or right. We've seen them destroy online communities many times over the years. We are NOT here to argue endlessly. We are not a debate page. If you don't like us or something we're doing you are free to go in peace.
We are not "accountable" to anyone else but Jesus and the large majority of happy community members at TCL. We do not have to answer questions from outsiders about anything we do. Such inquiries are usually passive-aggressive attempts to disrupt the ministry anyway. We have several pastors on our team. We are accountable to each other internally. If we were doing something unethical we would discuss it among ourselves and correct it because it certainly would not be intentional.
Sometimes people misconstrue our trolling policies to mean that people have to agree with us on everything. Not true. WE don't even agree with us on everything. We often post a wide variety of opinions on all kinds of topics. That being said this is not a debate page. If someone doesn't like a post or doesn't agree with something we ask that they scroll on by. That's all. Just scroll on by. It's the only way a page this size works. It prevents a lot of poop storms. Trust us.
A page member of The Christian Left said it best -- "On any page or website that has a specific audience, there are always those who feel they must stir up strife. Some do it for sport and other do it because they feel they are duty bound to bring people around to their way of thinking. For the purposes of a group such as this, it's best to delete them rather than to engage with them."
We will NOT be divided or harassed!
Lest anyone be paranoid about this policy, don't be. Good faith is easy to spot.
If you've been banned for causing problems that we don't need, please don't go get your friends and relatives to come and troll the page in objection. Their comments will be deleted and they will be banned as well.
If you've been banned for behavior which goes against this policy we'll welcome you back if you agree to honor our policies for the TCL community. Send us an email at TCL@TheChristianLeft.org. Enter Agree To Troll Policy and Code of Conduct in the subject. In he body of the email state, "I have read the TCL Troll Policy and The Code of Conduct and I agree to follow them. I would like to be unbanned." We don't read hate mail.
Epilogue: A troubling new phenomena has arisen in the last few years known as horizontal "Call-outs." It's progressive infighting and it's toxic. It is universally condemned by legitimate progressive activists. We don't tolerate it in any form or fashion. Please read our detailed blog post on this topic.
On that note, we're glad you're all here. Enjoy the page!
About TCL Blog
We’re not about Dogma here. We’re just Christians who think the political and Christian right-wing have their priorities wrong.
Charles Toy is the founding member of The Christian Left. We're sure you will enjoy his passion as well as his wit. Guest bloggers featured often.