I got back from the International Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo, Michigan, last night and I found that someone had left a comment on a blog post I wrote about a year and a half ago. Imagine my dismay to find an insulting attack on my post by an anonymous visitor. Briefly, he or she said that the post was full of "unsubstantied [sic] assertions, and irrational conclusions about the mediaeval priesthood" and called me a "so-called scholar" who should "go back to kindergarten." Strange that he or she should criticize what I said about the Middle Ages, basic information that can be found in any textbook on the tenth-century reform, and not the more subjective speculations I made concerning the present state of the Church, but then again the commentator was not very specific in his or her criticism.
Not the most thick-skinned of bloggers, at first I was agitated. I wasn't quite sure what to do. I've only received a couple of negative comments before, both when I had the nerve to suggest that Muslims might be human beings. In the end I decided to delete the comment and leave one of my own as an invitation to whoever it was to come back and engage in real dialog. What I wrote might serve as a comment policy for this blog:
Dear anonymous:And that is the policy.
I deleted your comment. I welcome anyone who disagrees with me to comment on my blog. If you are capable of explaining coherently what is wrong with my post and can do so without being insulting, I would be happy to hear your thoughts.
By the way, I consider leaving anonymous insults in someone's comment box a cowardly act.