Variations on a theme here:viewtopic.php?f=69&t=11837&view=unread#p153833
I've seen, here and elsewhere and not only by one participant or group, this position taken: If you are not part of our community, then you have no business commenting on our tradition's teachings, practices, history, or present successes. I think this is just myopic, closed-minded, hubris-filled, head-in-the-sand arrogance, because it gives the one who takes this position a justification (a flimsy one) to stop learning and be willfully ignorant on one side, with the correlative attachment to one's own view reinforced on the other.
History is not kind to communities who are unwilling to listen to well-informed criticisms from outsiders. I'm not talking about baseless gossip here (that can be safely ignored), but analyses grounded in fact or simply alternative perspectives to the ones one is presently informed by.
When you turn away from this sort of pluralism and commit yourself only to those voices that are identified with your community, you've effectively joined the circle of a charismatic leader. Which is a polite way of saying that you're behaving as a cultist. That's no way to get to the truth. It's a way to be controlled, ultimately. The horizon of your learning shrinks, and you are left defending a smaller and smaller piece of turf against the infidels outside.
I advise against this kind of snobbishness. Life is sunnier and more pleasant and more interesting when you are willing to expose yourself to the unfamiliar. Isn't that meditation too?
This is a great topic, though I'm not sure if you are referring to a specific community, i.e., a specific teacher or Sangha, or to a specific tradition that is a subset of a larger tradition (e.g., Soto Zen or Karma Kagyu), a larger tradition within one of the major vehicles or the traditions of the vehicles themselves.
There seems to be two areas of discussion though - one is on the practices and understandings of a tradition as it relates to a specific topic, e.g., celibacy, or meditation. The other area in a broad sense is Buddhism in practice, and then more specifically, Buddhism in practice as it pertains to specific cases that fall outside what is considered the norm (the stuff of scandals, etc.).
Thoughtful discussions should be allowed on all these points. I think one of the essences of Buddhism is that we are all in samsara and there isn't, even though we like to think so, something more (or less) samsaric. As an example of this, I was recently listening to Dzongsar Rinpoche and he made the point that desire for sex is not somehow "more bad" than a desire for shopping just because it's "sex".
Not to say that there aren't challenges with these types of discussions. Humans bring different level of attachments to the table, we all fall into different logical fallacies in developing our points (not all the time every time), we bring agendas and/or areas that we may be working on or have worked on for ourselves which, while important/relevant in our eyes, may be less so for others, and so on.
One question I'd like to add, is where is the line drawn, especially for those who have taken refuge? At what point does discussion of a scandal (it doesn't have to be sex, it could be financial, etc.) begin to violate vows, if any, by bringing disrepute on a sangha or an ordained monastic? We can say, as long as comments are informed, it's okay, but being on a Buddhist forum, what does "informed" mean, if anything. I'm not trying to be purposefully cryptic, but to point out that as practitioners we are constantly confronted by how little we know or think we know, even at a mundane level.