Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Diarrhea Juice + discussion of commenting UPDATED

Because yesterday's post was pretty heavy and has elicited some intense discussion (read: people flaming each other needlessly) I thought I'd keep it light today. But I do want to talk about comments which I'll do at the end.

So, this house has become bedlam.

The last few days the kids have been sick with a nasty flu
and there have been lots of bodily fluids coming from orifices up in this joint. At one point, Lolly explained that Gatorade would help the girls with hydration, and that it would help them feel better. I was not present for this discussion.

Which is why I stopped dead in my tracks when I came downstairs this morning and Anna said "Daddy, can I have some Diarrhea Juice?"

Seriously, Anna? You've been leaking the stuff for two days and now you want to drink it?

"Some what?" I asked.

"Diarrhea Juice," she said and then opened the fridge and pointed to the Gatorade. And I sighed deeply with relief.

She only wanted Gatorade.

So, I did what any good father would do and I poured my daughter a tall, cool glass of Diarrhea Juice. And she drank that Diarrhea Juice up. Every last drop of it! And she enjoyed the delicious flavor and texture of her Diarrhea Juice... (I'm probably never, ever going to get tired of this joke but I'll stop now.)

Nothing more refreshing than a tall, cool glass of D.J. 
Photo attribution: here


Anyway, the bad news is that today, Lolly got sick, so she feels like crap. And now I'm just waiting for it to hit.

But, the trouble is, I'm going on an eight mile hike tomorrow morning. Seriously.

So, every single one of you, religious creeds notwithstanding, pray that I don't get diarrhea on mile four of my hike.  Please. We do not, I repeat, do NOT need a repeat performance of this memorable morning.

(But you better believe that if any such thing happens, you will be hearing about it...)

Okay, and before I go, let's talk about comments mmmkay?

So, I get it. Yesterday I opened the door to talking about the gay issue as I have done in the past. And, like instances in the past, the comments eventually devolved into a really counterproductive (in some instances) flame-war where people of different ideological divides attacked each other, called each other condescending, questioned each other's beliefs, and all in all disrespected one another. (Obviously there were many comments that didn't do that, and for that I am thankful.)

This has been a problem. It has happened to such a degree in the past that I have literally removed entire posts (really really good posts that I liked) whose comment sections got so mean, attacking and counterproductive that the original post was absolutely lost in the madness.

I really don't like that this is happening. I'd love it if you'd help me in trying to make it stop.

Which is why I would like to propose some guidelines for commenting.

1. After you read a post, focus on what you can offer in response to the post. This blog is not a forum. It is not appropriate to enter thread after thread and share your opinions on every topic or idea that is shared in response to the original post.

2. If you disagree with someone, take a deep breath and think twice about telling them. You are not here to correct the masses. You are not here to tout your personal dogmatic philosophy (whichever that is). Hopefully you are here to contribute some new and interesting thoughts in response to a blog post. I really, really love what people have to say on my blog and have asked for advice and thoughts many times because there are so many wonderful, intelligent people who are willing to share their thoughts. You are all brilliant, and so gracious to share thoughts. Don't get caught in a flame war. Share a new, independent thought that attacks nobody, or perhaps choose to wait for another post to share.

3. If you simply must disagree with someone, please be nice. Be respectful. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Let them know that you don't mean to attack, but that you are simply clarifying an idea. If you find yourself doing this once on one post, you're probably a human being. Twice? You might want to examine why you are here. Three times? Probably you should go put some herbal tea on the stove, turn on some of your favorite music, and lose yourself in a really great book. I promise you will feel better that way.

4. If you find yourself feeling frustrated by the comments or by other commenters, it might be time to move on to something else. Feeling that way is probably a sign that you are getting fatigued by conflict, which means the discussion is no longer a healthy discourse. Healthy discourse is crucial to deepening understanding, and I welcome it and treasure it. But the feel of healthy discourse is usually respectful, open, mind-expanding, eye-opening and exciting. It leads you to want to read more, and want to know what others think so that you can understand people and ideas with more depth. If you are feeling things like annoyed, offended, defensive, attacked or "tired of people who [fill in the blank]" it means you are no longer engaging in healthy discourse. Don't waste your time on that. Go for a nice walk in the September air and enjoy any last summer sunshine you can.

I want the feel of the discussions on this blog to be open and honest and vulnerable and real. I have confidence that if we follow these guidelines we can make that happen as it has happened in the past.

Thanks guys.

UPDATED

Several commenters were concerned, essentially, that the above paragraphs about commenting didn't take into account the fact that discussion of hard topics will mean divergent opinions. There was also some implication that the above paragraphs were an attempt to protect myself against people thinking or saying things I disagree with.

Here's my response with all my typos in tact (you can see the comments this responds to below if you're interested--it's approximately the 8th comment down):


Shayla et al.

I appreciate your support and ideas here. Allow me to clarify a couple of points.

First, I apologize if the "herbal tea" comment sounded condescending. Totally wasn't my intent at all. I actually met it very literally. (I was speaking from a very "counselor" place at that moment, literally saying that if you find yourself obsessed with commenting on a blog (I've actually read people on forums say that they needed a 12 step program to ween themselves from commenting on my blog and disputing with other commenters, ha!) it would probably make them feel better to find a more calming, self-care type of activity that will help them feel good. Sorry if that came off wrong ;-)

As far as me, if I am bringing up hard topics, being "prepared that there are those that will openly share their opinion that my be contrary to [my] own thoughts," I think you are misunderstanding what I'm saying. I encourage people to respond directly to my original post (as I said in this post itself). Rest assured, I am very very well accustomed to people not agreeing with me and my skin is quite thick. In other words, my admonitions are not about me not being able to handle other people's viewpoints--I love the richness of dialogue that has occurred here, and frankly, while I appreciate a good blog comment that helps me think in new ways, I've encountered MUCH more challenging affronts to my position and situation than comments on my blog. 

What I am attempting to thwart are sub-discussions between commenters that are very attacking, vicious and vitriolic. (Rarely are those things lobbed at me, interestingly, but more to other commenters.) I want to discourage this because 1. it doesn't allow for a safe place to discuss issues, and 2. it breaks my heart for certain very innocent and well-meaning commenters.

For example, a month ago, there was a post that I decided to remove entirely. On that post, there was a comment from an ooold family friend to Lolly and me who lived in the ward we both grew up in. It was a sweet, very sincere comment asking some questions about my homosexuality. It showed that she hadn't had much experience with the subject, was trying to process new ideas, and it wasn't abrasive at all. The sequence of responses to that sweet lady from my childhood stunned me and made me ill--she was vilified, called names, called ignorant, and attacked viciously. I have tried to contact her to personally apologize that that happened, but I haven't been able to find her. (It's you, Vicky H. if you're reading. So sorry!) It was that exchange, mainly, that convinced me to take down the entire post.

That should not have happened. We need to be better. Yes this is a sensitive topic and yes people have strong opinions. But I am getting to the point where I must refuse to stand idly by while people are demeaned and vilified and attacked. (And these attacks come from ALL sides of the issue, btw.)

In yesterday's post, for example, a young teen was questioned for his comment, a man in a difficult situation was berated and demeaned for his struggles and, and again here's where it gets personal, one of my sweet seminary students from last year was attacked for a very innocuous comment. 

I am trying my best to foster an environment where such things don't happen. I, personally, think we can do it. Maybe I'm wrong. But I take attacks on commenters to my posts seriously, and I want to do everything I can to make this an environment where, while we may disagree and have strong opinions, we can still be civil and respectful of one another. Sorry for any way in which I fail to achieve that, or contribute to the problem.

65 comments:

  1. May I suggest, a daily regime of vitamin c. It helps protect your immune system. A glass of orange juice every day will also do the trick. Secondly, I would recommend, yogurt and cheese on top of the Gatorade. The Gatorade will help restore electrolytes but the yogurt will help replace the good bacteria in their stomachs which we sometimes lose during diarrhea and the cheese is constipating but only if you eat too much of it. String cheese, cheddar cheese and crackers. The salt will help relieve the nausea they may have. I hope this helps. This is something that I do for my three boys when they are sick with a stomach virus. Their symptoms usually go away after the first day. No antibiotics, no harsh medicines. Just healthy food that will help them get over their sickness. Lolly too! You can start doing this in order to assure you don't get sick! Take care and hang in there!

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  2. That picture makes me gag a little. I hope that your family recovers quickly and that you can manage to avoid catching it.

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  3. oh well....I found your answer yesterday to be a good and clarifying answer and if members of our church would take the time to study the prophets on the subject they would learn that you´re pretty much in accord with what they teach....perhaps except they don´t use the term "Gay" as loosely as you do ;) But they´re conveying the same message. They just prefer to use the expression "same gender attraction" and they make it very clear that it in itself is not a sin...they also make it very clear that acting on it is! And then they try to avoid as much guesswork as possible as to whether it´s inborn or not and move on to talk about Christ and how all is possible in Christ, but make no promises whether this trial (which they express great concern and respect for)can be overcome in this or the "next" life. (that is like fast written in my own words and I´m guessing you´ve had alot of the same sources I´ve had, coz they´re all there online...almost all... my husband did bring home a loooong powerpoint on the subject that was used by a therapist hired by the church to teach the subject to Bishops and high Council members - which was also very informative).
    It sounds very true and right in my ears that you and your wife should have felt prompted to share this message and I´m glad you did! I find it to be courageous and much needed! And you put some humor into it too, which I love! Keep it up, your voice is needed because of your own experience you bring an understanding and empathy into the discussion that is very valuable!

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  4. Great commenting guidelines! I've noticed the same thing (about many bloggers' posts, not just yours) and it is completely counterproductive. If someone really wants to be listened to or taken seriously they need to participate in "healthy discourse" as you term it by being respectful of others' feelings and noncombative in general. Good term, healthy discourse. Thanks!

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  5. When you Wiki Blog, this is what it has written on the topic of behavior:


    The Blogger's Code of Conduct is a proposal by Tim O'Reilly for bloggers to enforce civility on their blogs by being civil themselves and moderating comments on their blog. The code was proposed due to threats made to blogger Kathy Sierra. The idea of the code was first reported by BBC News, who quoted O'Reilly saying, "I do think we need some code of conduct around what is acceptable behavior, I would hope that it doesn't come through any kind of regulation it would come through self-regulation."

    O'Reilly and others came up with a list of seven proposed ideas:

    1.Take responsibility not just for your own words, but for the comments you allow on your blog.

    2.Label your tolerance level for abusive comments.

    3.Consider eliminating anonymous comments.

    4.Ignore the trolls (In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion).

    5.Take the conversation offline, and talk directly, or find an intermediary who can do so.

    6.If you know someone who is behaving badly, tell them so.

    7.Don't say anything online that you wouldn't say in person.

    (taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog)

    Number four and seven are my favorite ones.

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  6. Contention is of the Devil - remember that people!

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  7. Wikipedia has some interesting things written about blog.
    Under the topic of ‘behavior’ it states seven proposed ideas (I warmly recommend bloggers read them all).
    But to make it short-
    fourth is ignoring the trolls :) and
    seventh is ‘don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say in person’.
    If we act like this, we shouldn’t have problems.

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  8. I just read your previous post and am of the opinion that you should take that stuff on the road. I loved what you said about people having blind spots, and that while that's not ideal, it's okay, different life experiences do that, and while those blind really need to be addressed it is not productive to attack someone for having them. Thank you for trying to make a safe place to ask both informed and not so informed questions.

    I also loved what you said about the true nature of sexual attraction. I am such a believer in the fact that we have to give more room to trusting ourselves. Living by a moral code of any kind can easily generate fear of our emotions or make it feel like we are at war within ourselves, but it does not have to be that way ... in fact I feel that the whole point of coming to earth is not trying to eradicate emotions that may seem 'wrong' but learning how to integrate them into our lives in good ways, how to be at peace with these physical bodies ... to be able to trust ourselves and, by consequence, trust others.

    Our youth is where we have to start teaching that trust, we teach them about self-control, but hardly ever about self-trust. I feel like that is one of the most magnificent things the atonement does for us. It gives us the space to figure out how to make peace between natural inclinations and the path God has commanded us to follow. The 'natural man' is an enemy to God only when he is without God. The natural man with God is a child, learning and growing and coming to terms with how confusing, but poignantly beautiful it is being both a child of nature and a child of God.

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    1. I like what you say SO MUCH about teaching self trust as a crucial companion to self-control. Probably one reason it is hard to teach it is that it is harder for us to do ourselves!

      I'm in my 50's, but I'm definitely just a beginning self-truster.

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  9. Josh, I appreciate what you're trying to do here, and I approve of your clarification (it's your blog and you have a right to set the rules). But, um, posts about controversial social issues will bring out debate and disagreement (because one, these are issues that affect people's lives, and two, almost everyone has a strong opinion). If that's not the discourse you're after, great, but judgments such as "Probably you should go put some herbal tea on the stove" are pretty condescending, especially as the tone here is already remarkably restrained compared to most blogs.

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    1. 100% agreed! If your going to walk the road, than accept the consequences whether good or bad.

      Delete
    2. Thank you Shayla. I appreciate your comments. I think if you are the kind of person who is willing to go viral and talk very directly about controversial issues, you have to be prepared that there are those that will openly share their opinion that may be contrary to your own thoughts. In other words, if your voice enough to have such a strong opinion and letting the world know...then man up and take the back lash whether good or bad that may follow as a result. I respect you Josh for being who you are, but there are those who will agree with your thoughts & opinions and many who will not agree.

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    3. I don't think Josh is trying to tell people they can't say why they disagree with him or anything like that, he is wide open to that. I think he is just encouraging the discussion to be just that a discussion of many ideas and thoughts and not an all out war of opinions where people are inconsiderate of one another. He is encouraging discussions not debates/tear downs.

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    4. Shayla et al.

      I appreciate your support and ideas here. Allow me to clarify a couple of points.

      First, I apologize if the "herbal tea" comment sounded condescending. Totally wasn't my intent at all. I actually met it very literally. (I was speaking from a very "counselor" place at that moment, literally saying that if you find yourself obsessed with commenting on a blog (I've actually read people on forums say that they needed a 12 step program to ween themselves from commenting on my blog and disputing with other commenters, ha!) it would probably make them feel better to find a more calming, self-care type of activity that will help them feel good. Sorry if that came off wrong ;-)

      As far as me, if I am bringing up hard topics, being "prepared that there are those that will openly share their opinion that my be contrary to [my] own thoughts," I think you are misunderstanding what I'm saying. I encourage people to respond directly to my original post (as I said in this post itself). Rest assured, I am very very well accustomed to people not agreeing with me and my skin is quite thick. In other words, my admonitions are not about me not being able to handle other people's viewpoints--I love the richness of dialogue that has occurred here, and frankly, while I appreciate a good blog comment that helps me think in new ways, I've encountered MUCH more challenging affronts to my position and situation than comments on my blog.

      What I am attempting to thwart are sub-discussions between commenters that are very attacking, vicious and vitriolic. (Rarely are those things lobbed at me, interestingly, but more to other commenters.) I want to discourage this because 1. it doesn't allow for a safe place to discuss issues, and 2. it breaks my heart for certain very innocent and well-meaning commenters.

      For example, a month ago, there was a post that I decided to remove entirely. On that post, there was a comment from an ooold family friend to Lolly and me who lived in the ward we both grew up in. It was a sweet, very sincere comment asking some questions about my homosexuality. It showed that she hadn't had much experience with the subject, was trying to process new ideas, and it wasn't abrasive at all. The sequence of responses to that sweet lady from my childhood stunned me and made me ill--she was vilified, called names, called ignorant, and attacked viciously. I have tried to contact her to personally apologize that that happened, but I haven't been able to find her. (It's you, Vicky H. if you're reading. So sorry!) It was that exchange, mainly, that convinced me to take down the entire post.

      That should not have happened. We need to be better. Yes this is a sensitive topic and yes people have strong opinions. But I am getting to the point where I must refuse to stand idly by while people are demeaned and vilified and attacked. (And these attacks come from ALL sides of the issue, btw.)

      In yesterday's post, for example, a young teen was questioned for his comment, a man in a difficult situation was berated and demeaned for his struggles and, and again here's where it gets personal, one of my sweet seminary students from last year was attacked for a very innocuous comment.

      I am trying my best to foster an environment where such things don't happen. I, personally, think we can do it. Maybe I'm wrong. But I take attacks on commenters to my posts seriously, and I want to do everything I can to make this an environment where, while we may disagree and have strong opinions, we can still be civil and respectful of one another. Sorry for any way in which I fail to achieve that, or contribute to the problem.

      Delete
    5. Just as you mention "I refuse to stand idly by while people are demeaned and vilified and attacked." I too refuse to stand idle. I am a devoted member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and struggle with this blog. I have had things in my life that I have struggled with that I have not been open about. I have discussed them with my bishop & the Lord. That is how it should be. I feel that YES, important topics should be talked about, however they should be done so under the proper counsel of church leaders. I think that many are being persuaded a certain way because of things that are being said here. I am in no way trying to offend, however I will stand for whats right. I'll be honest, this makes me think twice about sending my child to primary to their "teacher", or seminary to their "teacher" or their leaders...etc. not knowing the values of the individual whom are teaching. I want my child to surrround themselves with positive, good influencial people that will help them become better. Sad thing is....you can't trust church members like in the olden days. Windows on every class room, double leader duty, no home acitivities for youth...etc. This world has come to a difficult world because the values of church members have changed - so sad.

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    6. Josh, I clearly understand your desire and your intent for this place. I believe you've created a unique space on the internet for the particular issue, which is important and desperately needed.

      However, I believe that you wouldn't be able to fully and satisfactorily accomplish what you intend, simply because a public place such as the comment section of your blog cannot be effectively managed in the spirit of your intent without some unpalatable compromises.

      The most detrimental compromise would be to turn off fierce debate, which actually makes it interesting and popular.

      I believe that so far, you have superbly managed to achieve a very good ballance between fierceness & civility of the discourse. The only unfortunate thing about it is that the debate occurs on your personal blog visited by your dear friends & acquaintances like aforementioned lady.

      So, I would argue that some things may need to happen, some changes may need to occur.

      I see several paths how to resolve problems that you have and still accomplish your goals. Which path you will take depends solely on which path you are most comfortable with. It would take too long to explain these paths as I see them in the comment section of this blog, so if you think some of my ideas may be worth of your time, please, let me know.

      And, man, you have no idea how much you've helped me and my family.

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    7. Anony 2:40 - much needed comments here. Lets stand for whats right according to true values. Its our choice how we live our life. We are not born a certain way, we chose to live our lives a certain way....

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    8. Anon, It seems to me that what you're saying is that you can't "trust" church members to think exactly like you think. And that's true. Because people have different opinions at times. And it doesn't mean they're bad or untrustworthy to be around your children. Your children, despite your best efforts, will probably grow to see a great many issues differently than you do. I don't think that trying to keep your children from being exoosed to leaders with different ideas is the answer. And I don't know what old days you refer to. The truth is there has never been a time that every member of a particular congregation agreed on every political or religious issue. And the problems you refer to were simply ignored. They were resolved "in house" by peopke with the "authority to which you refer. There have been lawsuits resulting from well meaning bishops and SP's trying to resolve things themselves. That is why there are windows and doubling up on teachers. Nothing new; just people paying attention. That doesn't mean you can't trust people around your kids. Sheesh. Most people are trustworthy both in your ward and outside it. hope you're prepared for the day when your kids will develop different opinions and you can love them anyway.

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    9. Josh, thank you so much for clarifying. Your goal to stop harsh personal attacks is admirable, and you've never come across as thin-skinned, to me, anyway. It was simply that parts of your original post - things like "If you disagree with someone, take a deep breath and think twice about telling them" - read like disagreement between commenters was discouraged, period.

      It can be very, very difficult to allow strong disagreement and discourage personal attacks at the same time, but it can be done with some good modding, especially when people are as polite as most of your commenters are. :)

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    10. Josh, thank you so much for clarifying. Your goal to stop harsh personal attacks is admirable, and you've never come across as thin-skinned, to me, anyway. It was simply that parts of the original post - such as "If you disagree with someone, take a deep breath and think twice about telling them" - read like disagreement between commenters was discouraged, period.

      It can be very, very difficult to allow strong disagreement and discourage personal attacks at the same time, but it can be done with some good modding, especially when people are as polite as most of your commenters are. :)

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  10. Josh, I love how you can talk about diarrhea juice and healthy discourse in the same post. Basically awesome :)
    One of the reasons I love this blog is how the unapologetic goal of posts is HEALTHY discourse. When we express our opinion in a way that is filled with hate and total disregard for another person, I think it says more about who we are as a person than it says about the people we are responding to. Keep fighting for keeping this place an environment of fun and serious discussion without cutting one another up.

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  11. I do agree that when you write about controversial subjects you will get a lot of disagreement from your readers, whether it is to you or to other readers, but like you mentioned, this is not a forum, it's a blog and it should be treated as such. Thank you for this post. I thought it was hilarious with the whole diarrhea juice.

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  12. To be honest, I'm totally over you being gay. At first I was like, "WOW! GAY GUY MARRIED TO GIRL!" Now I'm like, "yawn, can we talk more about diarrhea juice please". I really read your blog now because you are an excellent writer and make me laugh. Plus I love to hear about your little girls. I use to read the comments because they were interesting but now I feel like they are just beating a dead horse.

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    1. OMG Heather... You are hilarious.. :) Yum Diarrhea juice!!

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  13. Oh Josh my apologizes if I fitted in the list of no-no's in the previous post. Also I really hope I do not get sick too, it would be a lovely welcome back from vacation present. That picture is nasty, it seriously looks like Diarrhea. Hope you all get better soon and that you don't get sick or *gasp* vomit. What is your time streak of not vomiting now?

    Maquel

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  14. Also I vote there is a giveaway at 1600 followers, maybe a case of Diarrhea Juice?

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  15. Josh, I just want to say that I started reading your blog when your "coming out" entry went viral and I continue to read (though not daily - I spend too much time on the computer if I'm not careful ;) - as I was saying, I *continue* to read BECAUSE you talk about the hard stuff. I read because you talk about the uncomfortable issues. I read because you talk about the humorous issues. And sometimes, I find that you manage to wrap all three values up into one post. I love you!! I love Lolly! God bless you & your family. Thanks for tackling the issues with compassion and humor.

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  16. Thanks for the reminder. Where I struggle is with the realization that there is a fine line between "blind spots" and inexcusable prejudices. Often people who lack experience on a subject are given the opportunity to learn something. Sometimes they do. Other times, they hold on with a death grip to "I'm sorry gay man, but my straight spiritual leader has already spoken on the subject and I must give more weight to his views." If people want to learn, that's great. But in the year 2012, there aren't many consequence free environments where one can spout dated and baseless stereotypes. The reason we have made a small amount of progress is because we noisy liberals refuse to tolerate ignorance.

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    1. I agree with what you have said here, but there is another aspect of this that "liberal" people need to understand. Not everybody comes around to letting go of prejudices all at once or quickly. Maybe they've had a bad experience with someone who is so defensive about their lifestyle choice that they are off-putting. Maybe they are just trying to reconcile their belief in or testimony of an absolute divine standard and compassion and charity (real charity, not just pity) for those who do not feel the same way. I don't think that those who struggle to do that are necessarily being pharisaical or closed-minded. Often those who consider themselves to be liberal are not patient with or tolerant of those who genuinely want to understand yet are not at that point. Everybody should give everybody else the benefit of the doubt in everything and seek to understand others. If this happened more, there wouldn't be the anger and contention that we find in our discourse so often. In other words, I think it is ok to tolerate ignorance while striving, in a kind way, to eliminate it.

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    2. I understand the cognative dissonance. I understand trying to reconcile one's self to belief in certain principlescan get more and more difficult the more we learn about science and humanity. I understand that many people will still go to unbelievable efforts to explain the unexplainable. Whatever. But when these reconciliation efforts take place at the expense of human rights, it's war. At least for me it is. People who pass out prop 8 fliers and the like and then argue innocently that they're only doing what they believe is right are the ENEMY and will be treated as such. Waiting patiently for people to abandon their wacky traditions and "come around" hasn't been very effective. A lot of people are tired of it. I'm tired of it. People who value tradition and fantasy over truth hold us ALL back as a society and have made America a laughing stock among other industrialized nations. And I for one, am running out of patience. I hope my demeanor reflects that.

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    3. The problem with your theory BQ is that your coming from the notion that your way is the only right way and everything else is below your own thought process and ideas. Maybe you are completely wrong about the intentions of people, maybe your are completely wrong about your idea that people can not object that people don't believe in like for example gay marriage. Everyone has the right to believe the way they do regardless of your own ideas. There's no war here. Only the war that you perceive. I would suggest you try to follow josh's guidelines about posting etiquette. You came off very abrasive in you last post. Just saying...

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    4. To put it bluntly, I AM and they ARE. And people who fight human rights and progress and development so that they can hold on to their antiquated views (regardless of how they become more and more impossible to defend) are the enemy. To me. To people I care about. And I am coming to care less and less about tolerating these folks. And that does not mean that they can't vote their conscience. But more and more, I am starting to withhold my respect and friendship and kindness from these people. These are things that must be earned. I have immense respect for Sam Harris and Bill Maher and Ricky Gervais and countless other thinkers who have refuse to dance around ridiculousness and instead, call these tools on the carpet. Maybe a little shame and mockery is just what they need. It's time for all decent people who care about progress and human rights to take a stand and stop tolerating absurdity as if it too sacrosanct to question. It's time for us to abandon the notion that all beliefs are worthy of respect. You earn respect when you give respect. This IS war. People can thump their Bibles and bear their testimonies and I will respond with reason and truth and fact and we'll see where that goes. Because I am dang sick of religious people thinking that they call the shots and rule the world. Rule your own homes, but keep your absurd baseless notions out of secular law. Or your children and grandchildren will sit at the dinner table with you one day in the future and just shake their heads.

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    5. Are you not doing and saying exactly what you don't want to happen to people who are gay how non gay people are treated right? Should a person be sanctioned, censored, and persecuted because they don't believe in gay marriage? Does that not take that persons rights as a human being too, to live Ina society were different of opinions are ok? Your thinking is a totalitarian way of thinking. That you better believe or else. That way of thimaking willl never solve anything. Wouldn't it be better to allow people to have there own opinions and let god work it out in the end? Kindness is a virtue..

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    6. We all have our rights to our opinions but not all opinions are socially acceptable.
      I don't place the same value on wanting something as I do on wanting somebody else not to have something. They are not equal. It is not as important for you to keep marriage from your neighbor as it is for your neighbor to have marriage. That concept is hard for some to grasp.
      It's not better to let God work things out in the end if there is no God, is it? All that means is that good people who had one life to live went without and suffered needlessly because of ignorance.
      Kindness is a virtue. Bigots should try it some time.

      Delete
  17. Thanks for addressing that. Sometimes I read, and I don't even feel like commenting by the time I get to the bottom of the comments because I fear of being attacked for what I write :P

    In any case, thank you, for writing yesterday's post. It was great, and I think someone needs to say those things (esp. in the Church, where we're afraid to say "too much" on certain things for fear of pushing people in one direction or another).

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    1. church & personal affairs are separate and should stay separate. I have a struggle reading I am this way...oh and I am mormon. I agree. The attacks should stop. I think many disagree or have an argument trying to defend their beliefs (religious). Thats how it should be. If I have a personal issue I am working on, Im not going to openly share it to the world. Its between me, God & my pastor. And Im not going to deface a religion while doing it.

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    2. debase a religion, not deface.

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    3. Reading these comments makes me realize how right Josh was to write yesterday's post. Debase a religion? Why does everything unpleasant need to be hush hush? Many LDS are gay. If they all decided to stay in the closet, they would STILL be gay. I think your debase comment was extremely rude. If I were still LDS, I would feel honored to have Josh as a home teacher or my kid's primary teacher. There are plenty of things that debase the LDS church but Josh is not one of them.

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    4. I agree, but as a father I would have a hard time having my child in seminary with someone who believes he was born gay. Sorry for the brutal honesty, but I don't want my child persuaded to think it is okay.

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    5. Anon 12:23,

      Persuaded to think what is okay?

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    6. Better that your child goes through years of self loathing? Some people are born gay. I don't care if you like it or not. I'm sorry if it contradicts years of teachings by straight pompous geezers like Boyd K. Packer. Some people are born gay. You can accept that or you can continue to bury your head in the sand. One option allows you to learn something about humanity and grow as a person. And possibly be there for your child or grandchildren a positive way if one of them turns out to be gay. The other option makes it so you don't have to feel any discomfort, don't have to reevaluate what you've been taught, and never have to admit that you or your leaders might have been wrong on something.
      Your choice.
      For me it's pretty obvious.
      I'm continually amazed that it's not obvious for more people.

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    7. I don't understand this primal urge to make it clear to others that you don't think they're okay. I don't understand this primal urge to make your children understand that they must protect the negativity they feel toward others at all costs. What is with "needing" others to know that they're not okay? Judgmental *****

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    8. I understand you are frustrated with someones comments here, but How dare you degrade someone I highly respect "Boyd K. Packer". He is a man of God, and I will stand for whats right & say he isn't here to defend himself, so I will in his behalf. He is not a pompous geezer. And I would hope that Josh Weed would set the example by agreeing with me. He is a man of God, and if we don't respect him as such, we are not following the principles we are taught. I am deeply offended by your comments Miss Queen!!!!!!!!! I don't agree with Josh, but I respect him for whom he is. And I would hope that he would say the same about Boyd K. Packer who is someone I highly respect and admire. This is exactly why I think this blog is crossing the line in some ways, because people like Boyd K. Packer are being disrespected and degraded. There are so many members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who are posting on this blog in negative ways. Who do we represent, and what is the purpose here. Very sad to me. I will stand for truth & righteousness!!!! And I believe that the church teaches correct & true principles. The proclamation to the WORLD is a beautiful wonderful statement for all to understand the importance of families and the role that husbands & wives play in Gods plan. There is no option, and untruthfullness in what is taught by our leaders. Their inspiration and teachings come from our Heavenly Father. If we don't sustain our leaders, then we are defacing the teachings of God. There is no question as to the principles that are being taught by our leaders who have been set apart and are called of God. They are true! No partially! They are ALL true. There is no admitting they are wrong.

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  18. Josh, I did a little back and forth on a hot topic post a while back, but I hope I was able to diffuse the attacking and be respectful.

    I SO admire your skill and knowledge as a counselor. I love how you have brought issues down to their core, and express them in basics that apply to everyone human, whether gay, straight, single or married. I tried to post a similar "kudos" yesterday and I think it didn't post. If this is redundant, then just know that I am a fan.

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  19. It's wearisome in this Enlightened Age how uncivil we can often be. Do remember, this is *your* blog. If I attack someone, you are more than welcome to delete my comment and send me timeout. :)

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  20. This is a great post.

    Something I've thought before, when reading (and occasionally participating) in the comments here, is that there feels like a bit of a "culture clash" (for lack of a better word, please read that as neutrally as possible) happening. You're Mormon and obviously attract a large volume of Mormon readers, but your coming out post also drew in a broader audience of non-Mormon, socially liberal readers. These different audiences have their own assumptions and perceptions of what this blog is about, and they identify with you - and feel at home here - for very different reasons. A Mormon reader will identify with you on a religious level, and bring to the comments the assumption that living a "gay lifestyle" is against God. But a liberal Christian whose church performs gay marriages and ordains gay and lesbian priests (like me and my church) comes into the comments with a different sort of appreciation for your message, and struggles to relate to discussions about "the Church" that happen here, because it is just so not my church.

    I have no idea if that makes sense, I had emergency dental work done a couple hours ago and probably shouldn't be allowed to put words on the internet right now. In any case, I really enjoy this blog and feel like I learn a lot from the comments, even if I disagree and sometimes have to sit on my fingers (really hard).

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  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  22. here is a great video on the "lost art of debate' that I really like from my first least at school. I wanted to share because it talks about learning to debate well instead of getting down dirty...

    Oh yah Hi Josh and Lolly!! I havent talked to you in a long time!! :) I feel the same as "Heather Jones", oh these topics are great and really Josh Gay mormon married to a HOT lady is OLD news , but lets talk about diarrhea (doesn't help I am a RN and all we talk about it fecal matter and urine.... :)) I usually stay way out of the back and forth banter of some of these post because to be honest no one wins with this type of argument. Here is my contribution to this blog...and yes I am letting everyone see my profile so I show my face. :)

    Here is the video...watch it...

    http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_sandel_the_lost_art_of_democratic_debate.html?source=facebook#.UE17vH3_i1l.facebook

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  23. I rarely, and I really mean RARELY, read the comments that others leave on the blog. Maybe that makes me a bad reader? But I don't really enjoy the company of troll-types, so I generally avoid reading the comments of others. I do, however, leave comments myself on occassion, but hopefully they aren't annoying to anyone. :-)

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  24. I was one of the ones who deserved this chastisement. I got caught up in the negative atmosphere and instead of leaving, I let myself be sucked in. It wasn't until I posted anonymously though that I crossed the horrific behavior line. Justifications aside, because I alone am accountable for my actions, I truly regret my attack on the young vulnerable teenager. (And I regretted it, and apologized before this post even came out, but who wants to slog through the negativity to see that). I really did believe that he wasn't what he said he was, but that doesn't matter at all. No one deserved my cutting response and verbal lashing. This was the first time that I have ever used anonymity to be vile on the Internet and I guarantee it will be my last. The awful thing about things like this is you really can't take something back once you've let it go, no matter how much you may want to later. And I do deeply regret it, and wish I could take it back. But I can only say I am truly sorry for any pain that I caused.

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    1. I, for one, think your clear and open apology is admirable, and that you should definitely not burden yourself about this. Thanks for being willing to own this, and for clearly articulating your thoughts. It's really easy to get sucked into this stuff. Don't be too hard on yourself.

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  25. You are so fricking fantastic. I read your blog whenever I get a quiet moment away from my dear children, which is usually at night, which means I'm even more sleep deprived than usual every time you post. Thanks. Your sense of humor is basically amazing and I can say that with confidence because it's sooo similar to my family's. I love your family and your stor(y)ies, I love that you share so openly and handle the negative so effectively. I also really appreciate all of your pictures so I can better understand what you are conveying, especially diarrhea juice. You see, I was actually picturing a juice that caused the diarrhea. I'm so glad I was able to see what YOU were picturing! ;)

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  26. I just want to say I love your diarrhea juice story and I'll send you some good vibes for your 8 mile hike tomorrow. You can do this! (It might help to take some diarrhea juice with you even if you don't get diarrhea!)

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  27. Well stated: Just a random suggestion, it may be valuable to have a reader's digest version of your guidelines to commenting at the beginning (or end) of friday FAQ posts. It never hurts to have reminders of what's expected if one posts a comment.

    Overall I agree and if I post to further q's will do so with these in consideration.

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  28. Don't drink Gatorade!!! It's horrible for you!!
    The fake sugar, dyes and other chemicals will hurt you WAY worse then the little bit of electrolytes it has will help
    Drink this instead-including, especially, for your kids:
    1cup coconut water, 1/2 cup Acai berry drink(use the one with Goji berry in it too)
    Mix and drink two to three times a day
    New Seasons has this in bulk
    Very healthy and will keep you hydrated without harmful chemicals
    .....oh, & keep doing a great job bro Weed-the Trolls are just there to challenge you ;)

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    Replies
    1. I think somebody wants you to buy some Goji berry juice from them... ;)

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  29. I have to say in all frankness I took a break from reading the Weed because the comments were making me feel worse about humanity in general, which is the opposite of how your posts usually hit me. I cannot speak to the belief system of anyone other than myself but as an active practicing Mormon I can appreciate and respect the clearly stated differences of belief another might have from me and I expect the same from others. When we start having bashing sessions (and quite honestly I have read some LDS comments I find offensive and not inline with teachings of the LDS church) how can we ever get to a deep and meaningful discussion? And I think that is Josh's point. Not that we have to agree. But that we have to be cordial and curious and respectful about understanding that we disagree so that we can continue to learn from each other. Anger shuts us down and makes progress impossible. Thanks to Josh for being so open and good natured about sharing his life with the rest of us! For me it has been extremely helpful in understanding the dangers of teenage depression and suicide in the LGBT community. I don't understand all things but I do know for sure that people killing themselves because they feel alone and desperate is NOT part of God's plan. Thanks for reminding me Josh and other posters who have a different perspective than me :D

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  30. We have diarrhea juice here, too. Gatorade is great in replacing electrolytes, but won't necessarily stop the runs ;). We sip Sprite for upset stomachs and Coke for headaches. My kids, so far still think that these beverages are used for only medicinal purposes :).
    BTW, I think your guidelines are great! You write very well, and are very easy to follow.

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  31. You know, I left several mean comments online this week. Afterwards I was kind of ashamed and embarrassed and wondered why I was creating unnecessary drama. I came to realize that I was venting frustrations and angers onto distant "computer people" rather than facing the true sources of my discontent. I think many people who embark on vitriolic rampages (self included) need to take a breath and figure out where that anger and frustration is really coming from.

    Thanks for taking a stand and being a force for good!

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  32. (just for clarification: my negative comments weren't made here, but I needed the message just the same)

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  33. I couldn't help thinking about your family's "diarrhea juice" after I ran across a coupon today for "Joint Juice". Joe Montana endorses this product. I laughed as I thought of the Weed family. (In a good way, of course. ;)

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  34. The last few days the kids have been sick with a nasty flu . diarrhea green

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