"Seek out the society of your boon companions, drink, play, talk bawdy, and amuse yourself. One must sometimes commit a sin out of hate and contempt for the Devil, so as not to give him the chance to make one scrupulous over mere nothings…" –Luther

The Rules

Posting Guidelines for the Boar’s Head Tavern

1. It’s a good place. Make it better and we’ll like you.

2. New people are welcome, but I would appreciate it if you would ask yourself this question: Will I really post regularly? I mean, regularly enough that we will get to know you? If not, skip it and hit the guest account from time to time.

3. Persons requesting to be added to the blog will be asked to submit a personal/theological/vocational bio to me. You also can expect to wait a few days or longer to get on. Frankly, we’re often overwhelmed with requests to join, and I am very picky at this point.

4. If you are a legalist or a sensitive type, you are probably not going to be very happy here, because there is a lot of humor, ranting and skewering of various targets, so if you are looking for the typical Christian discussion area, I would move on. Seriously. (Note: You need to read this again so you won’t be out posting about how the BHT isn’t “nice.”)

5. If you are looking for a bombing range, move on. If you are convinced of your intellect and want to prove it, move on. If you want to dominate the blog, move on. If you want to solve all our quirks, move on.

6. All points of view are hanging around here somewhere, so if sounds like it’s all a bunch of men or Calvinists or Republicans or worship traditionalists or ______________ or Oprah fans (!!) don’t be fooled and post something you’ll regret. There is actually quite a bit of diversity on here. Baptists. Pentecostals. Catholics. Emerging Church. The uncategorized. The unwashed. It’s not YOUR church picnic.

7. People really do read this. I mean LOTS of people, so before you post it, think about it. If you get edited, it’s really about the younger readers, not the rest of us.

8. People’s feelings can get hurt (though we might hate to admit it.) And it usually happens because you are immaturely upset that someone holds a different opinion than you, or you forget that discussing opinions doesn’t involve making personal judgments about people you only know on the other side of a monitor.

Sarcasm should be signaled by “(JN)”. It’s a long story. Failure to use the (jn) symbol when sarcasm is necessary to properly understand a post is not excusable by claiming that sarcasm is self-evident. Further, the use of the (jn) does not erase the intent of rule 24.

9. Though we begin with an assumption that anyone’s profession of Christianity is true, denials of essential tenets of the Christian faith- such as those affirmed in the Apostle’s and Nicene Creeds- will certainly cause discussion and analysis in the bar. If you apply a label to yourself, expect to be scrutinized based on the expectations that people have about that label. If you dispute their expectations with panache, your contribution to Tavern life will be appreciated. If you don’t dispute their expectations, but agree that you’re not meeting them, and insist that the label applies, you’re being silly, and you will be taunted. Jim can occasionally be silly as a side-effect of his bitter invective and abject cynicism.

10. Please do a reasonably brief bio on yourself when you start posting regularly. If there is something we need to know in under to not run you over, please tell us. I mean, if you are a midget, and you don’t mind the risk that midget jokes will one day appear on the blog, then keep it a secret. But if your short status is an emotional issue with you and could cause hard feelings, please let us know. Either at the beginning, or when appropriate.

13a. We can be a “Look at my cat!” blog for short periods of time. The message is “Change the topic.”

14. I’m no prude, but keep the language and humor pg-13 please. It’s mostly boys and we tend to act like it. We take a lot of grief for this rule, so don’t abuse it.

15. Try to start posts with the name of the person to whom you are responding. If you have a nickname you prefer, tell us and we’ll use it.

16. If you make a statement of reality or fact, it is perfectly fair- and not rude- to ask you to produce some credible evidence that backs you up. That is particularly appropriate when claims about individuals are made. Ex: Luther and Calvin believed in the perpetual virginity of Mary. Ken the disappearing Catholic said it, I asked for references. He came up with them. I was wrong. Imagine that.

18. Don’t take the occasional alcohol discussion too seriously.

22. If you’re involved in a topic, you must respond in some way to questions directed specifically to you, or drop the topic. You may not continue to discuss the topic at hand while ignoring direct questions.

23. If you don’t post for a month, I will probably take you off the list.

24. There are some points of view so offensive even I don’t want to listen to them. Racism, sexual stereotypes, disrespect to other Christian professions, etc. are not going to be edited or moderated. They are going to disappear and so are you. So if you become so obnoxious no one wants to post anymore, or I want to resign my own blog, I’ll show you the door. Start your own blog.

26. Don’t hound or taunt people. I mean, if you ask a question and get an answer twice, experience suggests it’s time to move on. If it amazes you that someone gives you the same stupid answer twice, then just be amazed.

27. Members of BHT are encouraged to use the e-mail directory to admonish one another. IOW, if you have a gripe about someone else, tell them, not just me. Lurkers- that goes for you to.

28. Don’t sell anything on here unless you ask me and I say OK. I say OK to everything I want to sell.

30. Really long posts are tolerated. But there are limits to the human attention span, and many readers will not read long posts. After a while they conclude you have nothing interesting to say. If you must- and we all must, sometime- use the “more” tag.

33. We’ve covered some topics so many times that a new discussion may be a non-starter. It’s a hazard of being around here for too long. Don’t expect the long time residents to want to ride every horse you bring in.

34. Dead horses are topics the moderator has taken off the table. There are a number of dead horses at the BHT at any time.

36. Constant negative posting makes you a pain.

37. If you know a lot more about something than the rest of us, then carry your knowledge with some grace and humility.

39. Guest posters must read the BHT rules and abide by them. Guest posters should limit their posts to their initial comments and related responses. The guest account is not a “temporary fellow” account.

40. No Papyrus.