What are your thoughts on the Spectrum commenting community guidelines?

Because the mission of Spectrum Magazine is community through conversation, we invite participation of all readers in a respectful manner. To comment on the Spectrum Conversation website, one must register with a verifiable identity (email, twitter, facebook) and agree to the following Spectrum Magazine commenters covenant.*

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Spectrum community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members’ ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others’ beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking “report” on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they’re expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Spectrum staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)

*Based on the Sojourners online community covenant.


Comentaristas comprometidos

Debido a que la misión de Spectrum Magazine es crear una comunidad alrededor de la conversación, invitamos a nuestros lectores a que tomen parte de ella de manera respetuosa. Para comentar en Spectrum-Café Hispano, el lector debe registrarse con una identidad verificable (email, twitter, facebook) y comprometerse con la siguiente normativa:

Me expresaré con civismo, cortesía y respeto hacia todo miembro de este comunidad online, de manera especial hacia aquellos con los que discrepo, aún si siento que me han ofendido. (Romanos 12:17-21)

Expresaré mis desacuerdos con las ideas de otros miembros de la comunidad sin insultar, mofarme, o difamar a nadie. (Mateo 5:22)

No exageraré las creencias del prójimo ni haré suposiciones basadas en prejuicios sin fundamento que estén basados en etiquetas o estereotipos. Siempre daré el beneficio de la duda. (Efesios 4:29)

Exigiré el mismo compromiso de los demás miembros y por lo tanto denunciaré cualquier comentario que vaya en contra de esta normativa, no por sus ideas sino por la manera en que han sido expresadas. (2 Tesalonicenses 3:13-15)

Entiendo que los comentarios denunciados serán revisados por el equipo editorial de Spectrum-Café Hispano y que pueden ser eliminados. Aquellos que se salten las normas de manera reiterada podrán ser bloqueados y no podrán seguir conversando. (Proverbios 18:7)

I agree with your guidelines


It all sounds good to me. Good policy.


I don’t see a way to flag comments as inappropriate here. Am I missing something?

I like the guidelines and the pop up reminder for the first 2 posts is a nice touch.


Sounds like a fair statement of what is expected of posters. One would assume that it will be enforced even handedly.

1 Like

I think someone else has asked - why does an email address pop up?

I am seeing it now, though not a couple minutes ago.

Edit: That was on the 12th.

This is one of the most problematic issue with civility in discussions especially around sexuality. I have been involved with discussions on Spectrum where assumptions about sexual orientation and behavior has been made by people in the discussion. There are prejudices based on sexual orientation that make it in to the conversation in small ways that make the discussions poison to LGBTIQ people. You have to have a very thick skin to even read the discussion much less get involved.

Many of us in the LGBTIQ community like to share Spectrum Features or Blog articles. When we do, we often include a warning that reading the comments is not recommended. This is how poisonous the discussions become. That we, the people actually affected by LGBTIQ issues in the SDA Church are not able to get involved in the discussion without suffering pain. Spectrum is widely seen as an emotionally unsafe place for LGBTIQ people to participate in discussions.

This is one of the most important issues I see with Spectrum comment guidelines that must be enforced if the conversations are to be a safe place for LGBTIQ people. Why have discussions about LGBTIQ people in the SDA context if a large number of SDA LGBTIQ people don’t find it a safe place to engage in a conversation?


I think it means you need to set the username field in your profile / preference. I’m guessing by default it uses the username you created the account with.

If the conversation is going to be productive anyone who dissents from a view that Gay intimacies are OK should not be barred from expressing his convictions. If conversation causes one to suffer alleged pain maybe not reading certain posts may be helpful.
It is painful to some to see how EGW and Ted Wilson are too often demeaned. It is not easy to determine what a level playing field is when there are so many persons posting with ideas that do not at all convergeIn the Grip of truth

I haven’t seen a single case, here at Spectrum, of someone ever being “barred from expressing” their convictions. What sometimes represents a problem is not the content but the format of the expression. Instead of expressing their opinion, they throw personal attacks on those who have different opinions.


When Ignorance and Intolerance Speak Loud

This disturbing situation happens mostly because there are people who are completely outdated and misinformed about the nature of the gender issues involved in the gay matter. They just can’t accept the fact that, for most, being gay is not a choice but an inborn condition.

So, what to do? There is no hope for ignorance other than learning better. But when a person is so stubborn that they refuse to learn, then a conflict is for sure on the way.


Being gay has not proven to be inborn. Whether Nature or Nurture or a bit of both is still a question not yet answered.
In The Grip of Truth

As I said above, “…when… then a conflict is for sure on the way.”


I think one of the most important commenting guideline… (and one that seems totally missing, both from the guidelines themselves as well as from moderator practice)… is that of commenting ONLY upon the content of the introductory blog essay.

By far the largest number of comments in any blog which attracts more than a hundred or so comments are ones which either have nothing at all to say to the opening topic, are repetitions of the same statements, or are even “fun and games” sort of chit chat. All of these serve no purpose at all in forwarding the ideas that have been put up for consideration and DO mean that it is absolutely impossible to find any of the serious things that have been said on the topic.

I would hope that a way to handle this problem can be found before this new venue also becomes bogged down in the sheer number of comments for eaich thread.


This is an example of insensitivity that exists in these conversations. Why would it be “alleged pain” if I just told you it exists.

Sexual and gender orientation is not something you do, it is who you are. When you speak to someone about their sexual orientation you are speaking to who as person is at their core, not some esoteric exercise.


Commenting only on the content of the essay is a requirement with which I fully agree. Will it be implemented or would it require too much attention to moderating?
In The Grip of Truth

This is a challenging goal, "ONLY."
And who is going to determine what the limits of the “content” are?
And why trying to obstruct people’s freedom and gift to broaden a certain theme and to expand its discussion by including maybe other related areas?

I think the “sheriffing” activity of the moderators has been perfectly adequate as we have seen it. Just because we are changing a format shouldn’t be an opportunity for those who would prefer to silence some people rather than let them express themselves freely.

Let’s not shut the door to freedom, let’s shut the door to repression! We can do it, we have been good at “shutting doors,” we just have to shut the right ones!!!


The path of the discussions here at Spectrum often follow that of discussions at a Sabbath dinner table in that we start with a theme based on a sermon let’s say, but rarely does the dinner conversation stay exclusively on the base topic. Growing up the wandering helped me to connect principles and application across my Christian experience. I hope that we can retain that type of freedom here. The other element of the dinner table conversation is that we tend to be far more civil in person than we sometimes are in internet conversations and if we can incorporate the civility from the dinner that would be good.