Bloglinking dilemma

by Richard on January 31, 2005

Kinesis is confronted by a question of bloglinking etiquette. A treasured member of the UnRight Christians, she has done the decent thing and included the whole UnRight blogroll on her site, though of course she is under no obligation so to do. But - and here’s the rub - the list contains members whose views are not what she expected from members of the list.

Since posting these links, however, I have had the opportunity to read through them all and find that UCB contains links to a couple of blogs that espouse a more much conservative evangelical Christianity and overall worldview than I would have expected to find on a list which is called “Unright.” One of the blog owners in question is in the process of setting up an aggregator for evangelical Protestant women and has stated her intention to exclude those blogs that advocate a “lifestyle” contrary to Christian principles. As someone who doesn’t identify as an evangelical (in its current popular definition) and as a gay Christian I am excluded from participating in this group, but I am providing a link to her blog by virtue of being listed together in the UCB group.

I understand the dilemma, and it isn’t for me to suggest an answer (though I’m sure that Matthew 5: 38-48 is relevant). What I can do is address the source of the dilemma which lies in the nature of the UnRight list. Originally I set it up for my benefit. Then it seemed good to make it more widely available as a challenge to the widely-held notion that Christian can be equated with conservatism. The first blogs on the list were there because I put them there. Some have since asked to join. But there has never been any sort of “doctrinal statement”, whether social, political or theological, which members of the list are expected to assent to. A consequence of this is a fair diversity of views, with some members being less unright than others. :)

I see this diversity as a strength, but I recognize that there might be some who would rather it was a “purer” listing. At this stage I haven’t any specific proposals to make, but I would be interested in your reflections. Is an essentially open list like the UnRight a useful one, or should it be more constrained? Would a poll of members views on a range of issues be useful? I’m not going to be losing any sleep over any of this — it’s only blogging after all — but since I put the list up in the first place I would like it to be as useful as possible. Let me know what you think.

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02.01.05 at 2:54 am

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }


Mark Byron 01.31.05 at 12:17 pm

There’s (at least) two definitions of “Unright”; folks who are Christian and aren’t economic/foriegn policy conservatives and those who are unconservative both theologicially and politically. The latter is linking to the former.

To call a spade a spade, I think Kenesis is ticked at Bene, who’s both evangelical and a tad left-of-center politically, as least as far as I can tell from reading almost three years of Bene’s writing; the post that Kenesis mentions seems to match what’s been on Bene’s blog of late.

Bene fits in theologically with the evangelicals, but as a centrist Canadian, doesn’t fit in with all those American neocon/theocon bloggers. Bene might not fit in well with the Unright, either, but at least Bene has a cadre to talk politics with with less malice with the rest of the Unright.

Is there a metric of Unrightness?


Richard 01.31.05 at 12:42 pm

That’s interesting Mark — it never occurred to me that the Kinesis post had Bene Diction in mind. You might be right (or should that be “unwrong”?!) But for the record, I think that my friend Bene fits in the UnRight perfectly :)
There’s no metric of unrightness that i know of. Do you think we need one?


Wood 01.31.05 at 12:50 pm

I didn’t even realise I was on the blogroll!


Richard 01.31.05 at 1:03 pm

But you’re as UnRight as they come Wood - I stuck you in as soon as you changed to the wonders of WordPress. I ,i>suppose I should have asked…


Mark Byron 01.31.05 at 1:13 pm

I don’t think there needs to be a metric of unrightness. In fact, I’m tempted to join except that, even without a metric, there are limits to the term.

Bene’s definately unright, but not quite left; that’s what got Kenesis ticked, methinks. I’m too conservative to get the unright lable, at least for now.


Wood 01.31.05 at 3:27 pm

I think the word you’re looking for to describe me, Richard, is, in fact, “wrong”…


Funky Dung 01.31.05 at 3:45 pm

I consider myself politically moderate because some of my views are to the left (economics, environment, war) and others are to the right (abortion, ESCR, homosexual marriage). If forced to pick a label, I’d call myself a Bob Casey Democrat (though I’m quite fed up with the two-party system). My theological views, on the other hand, tend to be far right, though not of the Evangelical sort. I’m a conservative (I perfer orthodox) Catholic. I took “Christian!=conservative” to be referring to politics, not theology. If that’s the criterion for entry, I feel quite at home in UCB. If being “unright” must include theology, then count me out. For what it’s worth, I think UCB should stay how it is. I think there’s a Progressive Christian blogroll the “purists” can join.


Joel Thomas 01.31.05 at 4:43 pm


I think the best thing over all is to go with people self-defining as “unright.” If someone must have a moderate or liberal position on every issue, then if I had a blog, I’d have to be excluded because I’m conservative on some issues. There really is no perfect answer.


Mean dean 01.31.05 at 5:56 pm

I’m just a bit disappointed how Kinesis misrepresented blogs4God.

I have received quite a bit of heat in the past for supporting, listing and even highlighting the blogs of celibate, same gender attracted individuals. Just as I would gladly list reformed bank robbers, and the like.


Rob 01.31.05 at 6:09 pm

I suspect that, were the issue pressed, I would be excluded from the UnRight, Conservative, and Middle-of-the-Road blog groups.

Perhaps the greatest thing about the “UnRight” group is that I am accepted, even if I don’t “toe the party line.”


Joel Thomas 01.31.05 at 6:15 pm

The difficulty in pleasing everyone can be seen by the venom directed at Rick Warren by some on both the left and right. Some of my liberal friends turn up their noses that I think he put out a good book, albeit not Wesleyan in several senses. And some conservatives have descibed Rick Warren as a liberal, an unbeliever, or even an Arminian!


Richard 01.31.05 at 6:16 pm

Does b4G have a policy on linking/not linking to the sites of homosexual Christians Dean? It had never crossed my mind.
If you’re disappointed with Kinesis, no doubt you’ll be discussing it with her — it’s probably best that we don’t do that here.

There is no discernible party line Rob. I’ve never thought of the UnRight list as any sort of faction or alliance. It’s a more a corrective to the view that there is but one “Christian view” on matters of politics, economics, morality and all the rest.

The more I think about it, the more sure I am that Joel and Funky are right — the UnRight list should stay self-selecting and therefore untidy. Agreed?


Mean dean 01.31.05 at 9:19 pm


After having served as a moderator for some time, I’m bit surprised you beg the question … none-the-less, a legit question so here’s the short answer:
yes and no.

b4G’s policy was, is and always to exclude sites that:
1 - are not a blog
2 - convey open hostility toward historic Christianity
3 - show repeated ungracious behavior toward other bloggers
4 - advocate and/or affirm lifestyles contrary to the teachings of historic Christianity.
5 - have been in existence for less than a month
6 - does not have XML, RSS or Atom syndication

For example, I will NOT accept the submission from a Conservative, Christian Red State Republican male who advocates a lifestyle of undressing a woman with his eyes because it is contrary to what Jesus taught in Matthew 5:28, Matthew 15:19, Mark 7:21 and 2 Peter 2:14.

So yes, we have a policy, no, it is not exclusive based upon sexuality, but upon the practice of Biblical, Historic Christianity.

Hope that clarifies things.



Joel Thomas 01.31.05 at 9:54 pm

I think blogs4god may exclude anyone they wish to. I think it provides a fine service a substantial segment of the Christian community. There’s no way we can all serve the interests and needs of everyone else. Instead, we should just seek to live in community.

As for historic Christianity, such opposed the evil of usury. A number of Christian sites linked by blogs4god think that there shouldn’t be any modern limitations on interest charged, going so far as defending 400% interest pay day loans and 27% credit card rates.

Is historic Christianity Calvinist or Arminian? No matter what one does, it will be impossible to draw a fine line.


Bene Diction 01.31.05 at 10:58 pm

I don’t know what to say.
Thanks for your graciousness Mark.

Many new bloggers who find BDBO assume I’m in the US which had led to discussion about assumptions and misunderstanding that can be addressed (most of the time). I keep most of my Canadian political discussion at other blogs.
Perhaps the BDBO should look more Canadian.
Perhaps I should put up some kind of note saying that I link to lots of things I personally might not agree with.

I have offended you with my eclecticism in my blogroll and in my posts Kinesis, I’d prefer Richard remove me than cause you or anyone harm. There are a terrific bunch of writers in the unright group that should be enjoyed:^(


Mean dean 01.31.05 at 11:28 pm

Joel, let me know which “number of Christian sites linked by blogs4god” are “defending 400% interest pay day loans.”

Having lived in NYC and actually having a couple of close calls with bona-fide gangsters, I’ll be glad to pratice some ‘historic Christian love’ on their link

As for your remark “I think blogs4god may exclude anyone they wish to” … just keep saying to yourself, golden rule.


Karen 02.01.05 at 1:48 am

Oh dear. I didn’t realize that I was going to cause such a fuss.

I actually didn’t have Bene Diction in mind when I wrote my original post, especially since I’ve been reading that blog for awhile and had always meant to link to it. As I previously stated, I have always linked to well-written blogs that were far more conservative (both politically and conservatively) than my own. Since I consider myself pretty moderate in many ways, I also end up linking to blogs that are far more liberal than mine. It all seems to work out in the end. My only concern is that my blog (and I suppose by extension the Unright aggregator) is being used merely as a launchpad for folks who want to boost their standing in the TLLB Ecosystem and aren’t really “unright.” I apologize if i was unclear. I certainly don’t want anyone to remove themselves from the aggregator, and if I’ve caused too many problems I understand if Richard wants to remove Kinesis. The reason I didn’t mention specific blogs by name is that I didn’t want to single anyone out. Perhaps that was a bad idea.

Finally, I will say to Dean that I don’t think I’ve misrepresented the policy of Blogs4God if the policy is that you won’t include non-celibate gay and lesbian Christians. If I have misunderstood you and this is NOT the policy of Blogs4God, please let me know and I will post a retraction on Kinesis. However, if this is your standard I stand by my initial statement.


Mean Dean 02.01.05 at 4:09 am

Karen, what you said was “but I have always had a policy of not linking to blogs or groups (such as Blogs4God) who deem gay Christian blog owners unworthy of a link.

Now you move the goal posts with “… I’ve misrepresented the policy of Blogs4God if the policy is that you won’t include non-celibate gay and lesbian Christians.

So are you saying that celibate same-sex attracted Christians do not deserve an equal voice?


Karen 02.01.05 at 4:32 am

“So are you saying that celibate same-sex attracted Christians do not deserve an equal voice?”

Don’t think it and didn’t say it. Honestly, I can’t imagine how you managed to read this into what I said, but in the interests of not taking over Richard’s comment section with this issue I won’t answer you further in this space. Come on over to my blog if you would like to pursue this further.


Mean Dean 02.01.05 at 4:51 am

Actually Karen, I’d prefer here because Richard is a splendid and generous host - keeping this lively conversation alive w/out allowing disagreements to get uncivilized. That and I’m still scratching my head a bit as to why no email from you prior to your posting.

That said, warm beer for everyone (btw, Richard, you’ll now need to swing through N.C. instead of D.C. for yours … sorry, but I’ll toss in a dinner to make it worth your while)!


Karen 02.01.05 at 4:58 am

Dean, I suggested that you come to Kinesis because of Richard’s comment in #12 above:”If you’re disappointed with Kinesis, no doubt you’ll be discussing it with her – it’s probably best that we don’t do that here.”

I’m going to take him at his word unless he indicates otherwise.


Catez 02.01.05 at 8:34 am

Kinesis: “My only concern is that my blog (and I suppose by extension the Unright aggregator) is being used merely as a launchpad for folks who want to boost their standing in the TLLB Ecosystem and aren’t really “unright.”

I think it’s time this little game stopped. I was in UnRight Christians for months - I joined when my blog does not have the profile it has now and I did not join to increase TTLB rankings. I think a number of people in UnRight Christians know exactly who you were referring to in your original post. Let’s get something clear - you should have linked to a post on my blog if you referred to it. You didn’t. You twisted what was said in it. Now you are insinuating I was using UnRight Christians. Yet there is not one post on my blog, from start to finish on homosexuality or abortion, and I don’t blog politics. There are blogs in UnRight Christians that I have often read and appreciated. Without anything except veoiled accusations you have decided I was an evangelical (And I note that you are the one who has posted bias not me) and therefore just interested in ranking. I’ve followed this whole discussion. I’ve watched you contine, as another commenter rightly points out, to shift the goalposts, and continue to take potshots at me -Despite the fact I have never done ahyting to hurt you. I am not going to buy into this bit about continuing the discussion on your blog - Richard has posted the issue on his blog. You cannot point to one thing on ym blog that backs up your insidious comments because there is nothing there. NOTHING! I have actually written on my blog that ranking and links are not my first proirity. More to the point - who do you think you are deciding I am not UnRight? Are you the blog thought police now? And if I start an agrregator for people who have a similar interest to me must I now get your approval? You will find other blogs in UnRight Christians have blogged from a morally Right position - I think you will be surprised if you go through some of their archives. Publicly stating, in a veiled yet obvious way, that you are delinking some-one is very poor form. YOu know that - you have been following the discussion going on about these issues on other blogs. Misrepresenting what some-one has posted and not linking so people can determine for themselves is also poor form. Making comments which infer a person has been dishonest about belonging to an aggregator based on nothing but your own bias is disgusting. Don’t come back playing the victim either. I have never done anything to hurt any member of UnRight Christians. Ever. Just because you don’;t like that some-one is evangelical, or that they start an aggregator for an interest group doesn’t mean you can cast a shadow on that persons motives, integrity, and right to belong in a group that they have every right to belong to. You knew exactly what you were doing. You owe me an apology.


Bene Diction 02.01.05 at 9:43 am

Catez: Your concerns addressed to Kinesis sound strikingly similar to the ones you expressed at Messy Christian.
Knowing MC, many bloggers attempted to assure you there was no attack, and I know MC felt badly. I hope you and MC were able to straighten out misunderstandings.
This assumption above is something between you and Karen to work out. It is possible it isn’t about you and your aggregator. I don’t think people made the assumption you were a blog being referred to, it appears I was a key assumption. So what? Kinesis and I were able addressed it directly without accusations or rancour.

Karen: I checked last night and didn’t find the Unright aggregator at TTLB, Richard can tell you whether of not it is listed or will be listed.

Catez: I know W4G is new, is it listed at TTLB?


Richard 02.01.05 at 10:13 am

Catez - I think it is possible that you are over-reacting just a bit. I’m as sure as I can be (though it is not strictly my business) that the comments at Kinesis were not meant as any sort of attack nor intended to cause offence. In any case, don’t you think that this sort of dispute is better settled privately?

BD - UnRight is and isn’t listed at TTLB! I’ve submitted it. It doesn’t appear to have been picked up, but when I submitted it again I get a message saying it is already listed. I’d much rather it was listed rather than not listed, but there aren’t enough hours in the day to be shasing every loose end. If anyone else would like to follow it up, be my guest.


Catez 02.01.05 at 11:16 am

Bene I really don’t appreciate that. MC and I are fine with each other, and I never said anything about being attacked. More to the point, I don’t like you using a completely different issue to somehow cast aspersions on my position here. The issue here is:
Publicly announcing wanting to delink some-one and being pointed enough in the comments for people to know. (Go read it again - who else has started an aggregator for protestant women??). Then added to that are comments about the person’s blog content in general - a vague reference because there is NOTHING in my blog that fits the description. Then the goalpost gets shifted and its about the persons motives for joining UnRight Christians - and the insidious accusation that’s it’s purely for TTLB ranking. I’m an intelligent person, and I know how to read thankyou.
Richard, well yes, you would think some-one would deal with an issue privately. You didn’t. You chose to post one persons side of the story on your blog. Now I’m supposed to be “private”? Well thankyou - first I’m publicly insulted and then you want to publicly silence me.
Bene - no, W4G isn’t listed with TTLB. It didn’t even occur to me.
Here’s the gist guys - I have done nothing wrong or hurtful to another member. With a complete lack of substantive evidence I have been pointedly referred to (don’t say I wasn’t - readf it again). This is NOT about W4G. The only thing I am interested in hearing from kinesis right now is an apology. Oh yeah, sometimes I speak up when my motives, integrity and actions are misrepresented.


Richard 02.01.05 at 11:35 am

I’m not trying to silence anyone Catez. Not at all. But you have misunderstood my post if you saw it as “one person’s side of the story” - it most certainly was not intended that way. And I didn’t know it was about you, if it was. Karen has apologized for getting the wrong end of the stick on her blog. I’ve apologized via email. I offer the same apology here. There really was no intention to cause hurt on my part. It wasn’t about individuals at all, but some broad blogging issues relevant to the UnRight aggregator. Your motives and integrity are not at all in question and I am very sorry if that impression has been given.


Catez 02.01.05 at 11:49 am

Thankyou for explaining that Richard. I accept your apology. I’d like to leave it there. I did feel it was important to speak up before even more insubstantiated inferences were made. I think an apology is owed from another quarter as I said, but I won’t lose sleep over it if it isn’t put forward. I appreciate your graciousness here Richard.


Karen 02.01.05 at 5:13 pm

Catez, my comments were not meant as a personal attack, but since you perceived them as such I apologize. I didn’t link to any blog in my original comments because I didn’t want to single anyone out, and in retrospect that was a mistake. I was not trying to infer that you personally were trying to boost your hit ratings and it’s clear that I expressed myself poorly. I wasn’t intending to “play a game” with you or anyone else here.

Richard, I think that it would be best if you removed Kinesis from the Unright aggregator. It’s fairly clear to me that I have caused bad feelings within the group even though I didn’t intend my concerns as a personal attack on anyone or anyone’s site. On my end, I will remove Unright as a separate blogroll list and will keep any links I would personally read on a regular basis. Anyone who doesn’t want me to link their blog can contact me directly.


Richard 02.01.05 at 6:21 pm

Karen - I’ve sent you an email


Funky Dung 02.01.05 at 7:57 pm

“For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another take heed that you are not consumed by one another.” - Galatians 5:14-15

We are all Christians here, right?


Catez 02.01.05 at 10:54 pm

Karen thankyou for apologising. I think if you look at what I’ll said you’ll see why I took your comments as I did. However you have apologised and I accept that. You know I once humourously mentioned some-one on my blog a long time ago and she didn’t like it one bit. I amended my post and realised that what I write affects people, who just like me get hurt. I think it’s easy to forget that sitting at a computer without a flesh and blood person sitting in front of you. I’d like to leave it there. I think everyone has better things to do with their time. God bless you.


Catez 02.02.05 at 11:33 am

A last tidy up. bene wrote:
“Knowing MC, many bloggers attempted to assure you there was no attack, and I know MC felt badly.”

That was one person, Tom, who was with her at the computer. MC and I are fine. Reconciled. Not nice to bring up what MC and I both consider to have been a debate when it’s fine with us and reconciled. Off the topic too. Cheerio.

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