Monomakhos has grown by leaps and bounds since it first burst onto the blogosphere in November of 2010. It’s been a rollicking fun time along the way. Our numbers are more than respectable and for that I’m very grateful. This blog is read reguarly throughout the United States as well as other countries, even in countries where English is not the primary language. (Particularly Russia and Turkey interestingly enough).
For this we cannot thank our readers enough.
More important than the real numbers is the fact that Monomakhos has probably become one of the largest blogs in the Orthodox Anglosphere which provides a forum for robust and open debate. In addition, we are not afraid to go where some in leadership positions would rather we not. Sometimes it gets raucous. Equally as important however, we have opened up the inner workings of the various local Churches and shed some sunlight on them. On at least three different occasions I can think of right off the bat, we have been able to interrupt (or at least help others do so) certain events as they were unfolding, much to the consternation of some in of authority. Others have used us as a megaphone and in doing so have achieved positive outcomes. This may have been upsetting to certain individuals but the very fact that some plans have been derailed proves that they may not have been good ideas in the first place. I could be wrong but time will tell. Anyway, I’ve always believed that sunlight is the best disenfectant. The First Amendment is not a license for the Press to print money but to hold our leaders to account. (Accountability and Transperancy, where have we heard that phrase before?)
As a result though, some people whom we have discomfitted think that Monomakhos has gotten too big for his britches. Nothing could be further from the truth. I, your humble correspondent, am the chief of sinners. I know my limits and I don’t write anything that I know to be untrue, defamatory, or slanderous. And anyway, a lion’s share of the great stuff on this blog is provided by you, the readers. A lot of the good that has accomplished has not been without cost to some very good people. Brave people I might add who chose to come forth and express their concerns about certain developments in a forthright and open manner. The Lord knows who you are.
Unfortunately, certain correspondents have used the popularity of this blog to impugn others. They usually do it anonymously. The First Amendment has its limits –as well it should. That’s why everybody’s comments have gone into moderation and will stay there until I hit the “publish” button. For the time being, I am going to put on the Cap of Monomakh and act as Blog Czar, approving those comments I deem appropriate with my signet ring and hot wax.
OK, so now you can relax. But the defamation of living individuals has got to stop. If I read something which is personally hurtful to a living person, or just responds to a hurtful comment made by another person for the sake of keeping an old vendetta alive, then I will delete those comments licketty-split. I will even go back and delete comments made by that person in the past. Historical figures are of course exempt from innuendo and calumny. If Bishop Joe of Kokomo had a secret wife in 1936 and ten children and it elevates the conversation about episcopal celibacy, then it is worthy of commentary.
As I have mentioned several times in the past, I do not censor the commentary and only under great duress have I had to moderate certain individuals, especially if they used profanity. Part of the reason for this is because I have a full-time job with a lot of bone-crushing overtime. This blog is a labor of love (which means I don’t get paid for doing it) and so there’s only so much time that I can devote to it. But if I see the names of living individuals being defamed and/or profanity being used, I will gladly hit the “delete” button.
Even though I have waited until today to publish this policy, it seems that some of you have taken the hint. That’s good, beause what we do here –all of us–is important. Plus, I really like doing this blog. I believe that we provide a necessary service to our Church by allowing the open questioning of policies which come to our attention. I guess it’s no surprise to tell you that some in the hierarchy and administration of the various jursidictions would close us down (and the entire internet for that matter) if they could. Already in the secular world, important voices have been shut down because they breached the inane pieties of Political Correctness. People like Naomi Shaeffer Riley, Pat Buchanan, Juan Williams, and John Derbyshire to name a few. This is unconscionable in a free society. Others, like The Virginia Pilot choose to avert their eyes from mayhem and self-censor themselves. The fact that they look ridiculous doesn’t matter, what’s important to toadies like them and The National Girly-Man Review is not being disinvited from eating at the Sultan’s table. Well, fie on them.
Anyway, we’re getting far afield. Monomakhos is here to stay. If those in positions of power don’t like the criticism found herein, all they got to do is change their attitudes or at least inform the public. Nine times out of ten, a simple explanation will end criticism, even if it’s constructive. And of course, they are more than welcome to post whatever they want on this blog. My prohibition against censorship extends to them as well.
Readers, we have our work cut out for us. We’ll continue having fun along the way, but we will never shy away from our primary function and that is to freely discuss what is going on in our Church, our nation, and our culture. Let’s keep the debate elevated and on topic. Let me get specific here: When I post something about the work of Professor X I won’t let it turn into a Two Minute Hate against Dr Y. If you feel I have neglected something, tell me. If I make a mistake, call me out on it. If new information comes to the fore about an old subject, go back into the archives, pull out the relevant essay and write something, it’ll go right to the top of the comments column. See if it generates interest. Even if it doesn’t, the fact that you thought it was important enough to respond to is good enough for me.
We have a long way to go and we must “work while the day is upon us.”
Again, thank you for making Monomakhos what it is. Let’s keep it that way.