Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What I really want to write about is........

how hard it is not to succumb to the urge to post challenging and probably offensive comments on a blog I sometimes visit because the blogger is someone I love. No, it's not my son who hasn't posted anything since February on his blog (get with the program, kiddo!) or his sweetie who has been having her ups and downs medically. It's nobody who lives nearby or whom I even see very often, but I love this person and respect the position taken, though I don't agree with it.

It's more the scathing remarks and "you idiot" attitude that permeates the blog. This writer is funny and brilliant but I doubt there will ever be much back and forth conversation about the ideas presented because it's so clear that if the reader doesn't agree with the writer, the reader will be ridiculed and dismissed.

That may be what the blogger and his/her readers want. My knowledge of the blogger is that s/he is passionate about his/her subject matter (religion) and all the behaviors that the religion demands and I respect that. What is hard for me is to see how exclusionary and narrow is the point of view presented, particularly considering how very intelligent this person clearly is. It's as if the brain has been hijacked by ideology.

It may be my heretic heart and mind shaping my reaction, but I am unable to see how the behaviors championed in the blog are improving the world. I am not sure how to write this without destroying my relationship with the person and others connected to this person. You'll notice I am not assigning gender here, to protect identity------or maybe to keep you guessing. But believe me, it's unlikely that I am talking about anyone you know!

This person may occasionally read my blog; I don't know. If s/he does, I hope that s/he gets the message that I love and respect him/her but am concerned about a point of view that seems to be fanatical and does not serve the world well nor the God we both love. IMHO.


Chalicechick said...

People differ SO MUCH in what they want in their comments.

I'm not a particular fan of short comments that say essentially "I disagree, but it's not worth going in to why." I love it when somebody puts up a long post critiquing where my argument went wrong (as a lay blogger in a blogosphere heavy on the ministers and seminarians, to have my ideas taken so seriously blows me away) but the feelings on those are far from unanimous.

It does not sound like this person is a big fan of dissent at all, so maybe neither short nor long responses are productive.

As a last resort, you could always limit your comments to the few posts that AREN'T obnoxious and encourage your friends to do the same. Most bloggers, I suspect, pay attention to what gets comments and what doesn't and shape their blogs to their readership.


ms. kitty said...

I like that idea a lot, CC, and may use it if I can find a post that isn't obnoxious. I'm inclined to think that much of the near-malicious hyperbole is so that this person can say something funny and cute, regardless of how stupid it makes him/her look.

Joel said...

I'm afraid to ask this, but are you referring to me? I do tend to be pretty one-sided in my religious content, but by the standards of the religious blogosphere, I'm actually a much more laid-back sort than most. Alas, it's not an arena that encourages gentle discourse.

Joel said...

And I try hard not to ridicule commenters. If somebody disagrees with me to my face, they deserve a respectful answer.

ms. kitty said...

You know, I've rethought some of what I said, Joel. I realized that I may have been writing from a place of arrogance, that spot from which we humans jump to conclusions.

I went back to the particular blog I was talking about and reread some of it and, though I still disagree and worry about the ideology, I realized that I very much enjoy the great writing, the incredibly sharp sense of humor, and the personality behind the writing.

I do worry about the burgeoning population and the diminishing resources of the earth; I admire people who stand up for their principles when the principles are in conflict with what one is forced to do. And apparently you don't. Okay. We disagree on those sorts of things.

I'm new enough to blogging that I haven't gotten used to the sharp-tongued stuff, the ridiculing of divergent points of view. It's probably my conflict-avoidant nature that puts me in that spot. It feels like fighting and I've never gotten anything but fear and anxiety out of fighting.

Maybe it's partly that I would love to ream somebody out myself and am afraid to admit it! That could be the whole ball of wax!

Carry on, Joel. Don't worry about my opinion! But do think about the population and principles stuff and I'll think about your point of view.

I love you.

Joel said...

I love you too, Reverend Auntie. I KNOW I approach MY writing from a place of arrogance. That's part of the fun. :)

I do worry about the burgeoning population and the diminishing resources of the earth; I admire people who stand up for their principles when the principles are in conflict with what one is forced to do. And apparently you don't

After seven kids, it's a tad late for me to worry about burgeoning populations. :) I don't expect the world to agree with my religious attitudes about contraception. Mostly what I have is a total loathing for the methods of the abortion industry, which is less a religious conviction than a contempt for those who use deceptive means to profit from the misery of others.

In general I applaud people who stand up for their principles in the face of opposition. There are exceptions to that, though, especially when the principles seem a little too conveniently arrived-at (as in the case I think you're obliquely referring to). Still, having a long history of hypocrisy myself, I probably ought not to cast stones too readily.