Sidelines and Sessions

2009/03/18

On Comments

Filed under: UCLA life — spsukaton @ 8:40 am

I posted a story to my Facebook profile about the Catholic prohibition on condoms and the AIDS epidemic in Africa. It’s still up, if you’d like to see it. While I posted another link on Shari’a and the UN (by Christopher Hitchens, who is a very good polemicist, though I disagree with a lot of things he has to say) right after, all the comments went to the Pope-and-condoms story.

It got taken over almost immediately by two acquaintances of mine: A former colleague from the UCLA Library who is an outspoken secular humanist and atheist, and a friend from freshman year of high school who’s a political conservative and traditionalist Catholic.

Yikes. Sam (the atheist) jumped in on Andrew’s (the Catholic) response to my first question almost immediately, and it just went forward from there. I won’t post it all here, but Sam took up a cudgel against what he saw as sex-negative and unscientific Catholic theology, while Andrew moved in to defend abstinence against a culture of selfishness, saying a condom allowed for pleasure without consequences.

Looking back at the intense comment thread, it seems like I picked a good topic. It’s really interesting to see how and why people take stands, and I like giving people soapboxes to do that. I think it’d be interesting to run a political blog, or the editorial/op-ed page of a newspaper, and dedicate myself to honing my own arguments and those of others, making sure points are sharp but clean, intellectually honest, emotionally gripping.

I like comments – making them, reading them, moderating them, even when I get caught in the crossfire. This was fun – I left to get dinner(breakfast?) at In’N’Out, and they were still going. That was cool. While I think I’ll pick something that’s not contraception next time, I want to try my hand at editing and moderating commentary – journalist as gatekeeper and referee of civil dialogue.

Thoughts?

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