Amy Forbus laments that the most popular discussion threads in the Methoblogosphere are predicated on conflict, not unity:
I've been noticing for a while now that bloggers I follow (read: mostly Methobloggers) tend to have a good amount of fun with each other on lighthearted posts, a great deal of discussion on controversial posts, but very little dialogue on overtly spiritual posts. I've seen some really nasty debate over doctrinal nonessentials in one online community in particular. Yet, when somebody gets serious about matters of faith, comment boxes stay empty, or close to it. Andrew Conard has done a series of thoughtful posts on the Trinity this week, and has received a total of three comments.
David Camphouse responded:
Additionally, I think it points to something far more powerful and possibly even exciting...a sense of "closer-than-you-think". By that I mean, we get so caught up in the "opinion pieces" of the church, that we forget how close we are on the actual "doctrine pieces" of the church. We have done so much bludgeoning of each other with the opinions leaving us empty to really engage in the doctrine. We believe the same things, but tend to feel that they need to be acted out in different ways, and that the way another person acts out the same belief is invalid, because it is not my way. I think the silence tends to show a "closer-than-you-think" mentality that should encourage us to see each other in better light and could be the quiet assent to unity with one another. Maybe this is a great focus point ahead.
I think that David's right: silence implies consent. Which is a pity, perhaps. We should be equally inclined to voice agreement as we are disagreement. But perhaps silence also implies boredom. I mean, explorations of Trinitarian theology are important. And "I saw a tree today and it reminded me of God"-type devotional posts are spiritually formative (for the writer). But anything that reads like a technical manual or like a teenager girl's diary is unlikely to spark interest beyond the writer him/herself.
Earlier this week, I ran a series of posts about the homosexuality debate in the United Methodist Church. But by Wednesday, I knew that all of us had said what we thought and that it was time to move on to posts which unify, rather than divide us. I like to think of humor blogging as a redemptive activity in our connexion. Humor is a very intimate thing; mysterious and emotive. If I can get conservatives and liberals to laugh together, I can contribute to the unique emotional sharing of community laughter across ideological lines.