Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A conversation? Not so much.

Dear Rachel Held Evans,

I'm a bit confused.  This week on one of your blog posts, you asked the following two questions:

Ever experience blogging fatigue?

What keeps you centered and patient and kind in a culture that seems to reward the most reactive?

These questions seemed to be sparked by criticisms of your Biblical Womanhood project, which criticisms appear to be more prevalent of late.  You also seem to be getting quite a bit of good exposure which should help your eventual book sales - interviews on NPR and the BBC are nothing to sneeze at, as we all know.  So, perhaps your sense of blogging fatigue is simply due to the recent flurry of activity and attention, which has been both positive and negative?

Nevertheless, you frequently express the wish to have a conversation.  Even a better conversation. So I responded to those questions with a bit of past and thoroughly unpleasant history of mine.  I couldn't help thinking there is probably more negative feedback than things like this which we've seen on the Internet.  All the same, I seriously doubt that you have had someone try to get you fired from your one job and only source of income, as has happened to me.  I also doubt that you have been threatened with physical violence of a particular sort, as you now know I have.

I hope then, that you will forgive me for being confused given the above, as to why you would not only delete my comment but then prevent me from making any further comments on your blog.  You, and everyone who knows me, already know that I stand immovable against the feminism you promote in the church.  But why should that prevent us from having an honest and frank conversation?  Pushback and tough questions build strength and assurance.  This is something to which I have deliberately subjected myself because I know the surety and deep strength that result from not just asking questions myself, but from being challenged by the tough answers and sometimes tougher questions that come in return.

Questions and conversations can be the way to true faith.  But with St. Augustine, we must recognize that we cannot seek to understand in order to believe.  On the contrary, we believe in order to understand.

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