Lately there’s been a noticeable decline in the tone of our usually civil and interesting comments section. That’s partly because many of the recent posts have been dealing with controversial subjects (like circumcision and the relationship of religion to character), but it’s also because of among some posters towards a drift towards more ad hominem attacks and needling little digs designed to anger and provoke other readers.In the spirit of Grandmother Mead’s dining room table, the spirit that governs the comments section on this site, I’ve asked everyone who shares the job of editing comments to take a harder line. Comments that are unnecessarily critical of the intellectual capabilities, personal and emotional traits or the writing abilities of other participants in the conversation are not welcome. Disagreement does not require or excuse rudeness.Comments that we deem offensive or rude will, at our discretion, be either edited or suppressed. Those who wish to start flame wars are welcome to do so elsewhere.