Well, as it says in 1 Peter, we're not supposed to return evil for evil, or railing for railing. Or, as they say down in Appalachia, "Never rassle with a pig; ya both gits all dirty, and the pig likes it."
That's very hard to do, especially for clergy. We work so hard at defining reality. We want so much to be understood. We are such articulate creatures; intelligent, too, fully capable of twisting words in endless ways to win arguments. We are hard to counsel (like doctors and therapists) and sometimes hard to love. We are often our own worst enemies. So, yeah, it's hard not to respond, not to keep the argument going. It's hard to let some other guy have the last word. But that way lies great unhappiness.
I don't mind conflict, a contest of ideas. But mere personalities, self-defense, I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I gets old very quickly. I'd like to see us talk about stuff. Policy, doctrine, spiritual disciplines, history, the measure of the height of God-in-Man, what you will -- but please, let's leave the schoolyard abuse behind.