Such would be good for every member of this forum to follow. When the non-Christian students of a public college have enough respect for each other's diginity to engage in meaningful discussion, it's upsetting that the members of an Orthodox Christian forum cannot.
I want to address this comment, but without using any examples of behavior from OC.net.
I've found that many of my colleagues, acquaintances and clients/employees over the years, regardless of faith or nationality, have been very kind to me. Back in Cleveland, this was the rule (here in Boston, the exception). I've appreciated that in my interactions with them in professional and social settings.
However, I've also found that many fights start up within the family, sarcasm from my friends, and even comments from clergy (the Patriarch!). My initial reaction is indignation and offense, that they would be so presumptuous or nasty to me. But as I've come along in my short years, I've realized something: the interactions with the outsiders, regardless of how pleasant, are superficial; the interactions with people close, regardless of how mean or nasty, are meaningful, because they are commenting on my tendencies and behaviors with the intention of helping me to improve myself and grow in Christ.
I've definitely caught myself at times wishing I was working again in office max or the auto parts store back home, where people were always courteous and kind... But then, when I begin to remember that I care about my development as a person, I long for the sarcasm and wit of my family and friends, for in their commentary they are pointing out the faults in me that I need to improve upon and change in myself in order to become more Christ-like.
This, I hope, is what is happening here - because we are discussing matters of the most intimate nature (faith, salvation, community, etc.), even if we're miles or continents apart and never meet face-to-face, people are exposed to our innermost selves, and are likely to spot the obvious faults that lie within each of us. The Internet doesn't leave a whole lot of avenues to express those feelings, and human nature has a tendency to spin them in the direction of ridicule or mean-spirited comments. But the core of the sentiment is - "hey, man, we care, and want to see you fix a few things." Of course we all have logs in our eye, and we must work on them; but if we can help our brother even with the splinter, then that is a good thing, for then we can supplicate them to help us with the log in our own.
If you want, we can ask everyone to engage everyone else in a superficial manner - and membership in the board will decrease, meaningful relationships won't be built, etc. Or, we can take the slings and arrows of outrageous comments in stride, seeking always to make ourselves better imitators of Christ, and striving to love our brothers- even if it means letting them know that we disagree with them or are annoyed.
My $ 0.45. Now that I'm done being hypocritical, I'm gonna go play the state capital game on addictinggames.com.