There were so many awesome people with so many awesome stories and I loved meeting everyone. Thank you to those of you who traveled far distances to come see me--and to all of you readers who came to support me, it seriously meant a lot to me.
I was an organizational disaster as I spoke and I had like ten notecards and another notecard and a piece of paper and I kept kind of losing track of what I was talking about and I looked like an ADD star palace, but in the end it ended up going well and I felt like I was able to say what I was supposed to say.
Here's a picture taken by a reader named Christen Lane who came to hear me and then posted it on my Facebook page.
My blind eye is only kind of squinty!!!
Thanks for the great photo, Christen.
When I got online after the event to check my email I did not feel so awesome.
So, I posted my last post at the airport on the way to Utah, and then I went off the grid because I was stressing out and needed all of my mental energy to think about my remarks. After I was done last night, I was like "oh, I can hop online now and see how things are going." Imagine my dismay and disappointment when I saw that I got numerous emails from people saying that the LDS temple ceremony was being mocked in the comments section of the post.
Of course I had to see for myself, and I was repulsed to see they were not exaggerating. And that there were one or two commenters who absolutely dominated the comment section with hate-filled, vitriolic, intolerant posts.
I have made a decision.
I am moderating comments.
I had thought that if I talked about this enough times, explained the type of conversation I was going for--the openness I seek, the feel of acceptance and sharing and mutual understanding, and respectful exploration of differences I am trying to foster here--that people would pick up on that and then manage themselves. Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be happening.
This will be imperfect. I won't be able to be "fair." I have biases, and I will be more likely to remove the posts of some people based on history than others.
At the same time though, I don't want you to think that divergent opinions are the problem here. They aren't the problem. They are what make conversations great. There are so many divergent views shared by commenters who are able to articulate their thoughts in a respectful way (and did so even on yesterday's post). Anyone trying to share a perspective with respect and kindness, you have absolutely nothing to worry about w/ regard to moderation. In fact, your input is encouraged.
It is the people who have a clear agenda, who have explained that they do not intend to engage in this conversation in a respectful way, who can expect their comments to be removed. Every time. Without apology from me.
Furthermore, there is one more line I'm going to draw. As a believing Mormon, I cherish my religious beliefs, just as other adherents to other faiths cherish theirs. I love the exchange of ideas and information that happens when espousers of different creeds explore and share ideas. I think it's extremely useful to have that kind of exchange, and such a discussion requires a safe, respectful environment.
Because of this, any person who tears down a religious creed on my blog, or speaks derogatorily of someone's sacred beliefs can expect to have their comment swiftly removed. The level of disrespect and blatant intolerance I saw yesterday was breathtaking. It's actually been going on for a long time and I'm so sorry everyone has had to suffer through it for as long as they have. I've probably waited too long to take this action--the axe has been at the root for months--but I really did have hopes that people could self-manage. Last post's comments--and the many emails from people personally appalled by their sacred beliefs being trampled on--have demonstrated in a clear and obvious way that the time has come. Which makes me sad because while the presentation has been abhorrent, I have appreciated the perspective.
Aaaaand consider this issue put to rest. If you have a personal question about the policy or comments, feel free to email me at joshua dot weed at gmail dot com. I won't be responding to comments about it, but I will respond to emails.
All right. I have four trillion clients to see today. I'm gonna try to answer my FFAQ question tonight, but I'm going to be so busy recovering from the trip and preparing for a training I'll be going to from Wednesday to Sunday that it might not get finished. But I'll post something tonight regardless. It might be one sentence. About how tired I am. But whatev.
Thanks again to those who came to see me speak. Meant the world to me.