Freedom to link [non-maliciously] is inherent to the nature of the web, even to or from sites which you may not agree with; so I don’t think this JesusJournal.com controversy is really a question of linking policies or permissions. Not to me, anyway.
Rather, the problem is this concept of JesusJournal.com’s attempting to bring order to the Christian “manifesto” or “association” to oversee Christian bloggers. It’s akin to butting in to moderate a conversation in which they were not originally taking part. The whole medium of blogging simply does not give itself to the kind of regulation that they want to establish, and the monolithic corporate ambience surrounding the JesusJournal.com outfit stands in sharp contrast to what personal publishing is supposed to be about.
So I don’t mind them linking me, any more than I would mind Americans for Purity linking to me. (Well, if bandwidth became an issue, I would start to mind.) But I will not submit to their manifestos or committees. This is the internet, not a local church or established Christian organization. Community in the blogosphere is different from community in real life worship, which in turn is significantly different from community in an institutionalized Christian ministry. Boardroom hierarchies and bureaucracies simply will not work for the world of blogging — Christian or otherwise. My advice to Mr. Hughes is to participate in the sphere on our level, with his own personal blog. Then he will be in more of a position to understand how interaction among bloggers works.
(Oh, and unsolicited bulk mail is the other part of the problem. That was annoying.)