Thursday, June 28, 2007

Live and ......learn

For the multitude of fans of this site, you will notice the blog posted last week has been removed. Here's why:
In that post I was critical of comments posted on a certain website regarding the upcoming House of Bishops meeting in New Orleans. My post was an emotional response to the tone of SOME of the comments that were quite critical and even mean-spirited to the HoB. The emotional response was directly related to my current situation - Rector of a church recovering from Katrina. I am thrilled the Bishops will spend some of their time together helping relief crews and attending worship services on the coast of Mississippi and in New Orleans. This is a good thing - we need them to see and hear what life is like for us, and take that message home with them so volunteers keep coming.
However.....in writing those thoughts I fell into a trap that I am often very critical of in others. I called the commenters "mean people", and said the "mean people" live at that particular web site. Naturally, those folks took offense - and they should have.
You see, one of the biggest problems in this whole Anglican mess is the way people, on all sides of each "issue", tend to glom people together. We stereotype, we make assumptions about theology and beliefs, we lump people into convenient groups, and we do all this WITHOUT taking the effort to get to KNOW people. I hate that, I hate it when people, and they did this in DROVES on "that site" after my blog post was reported on there, make assumptions about me, my beliefs, my theology, when they really have no clue about me.
And yet, I did the exact same thing. I labeled posters / commenters of "that site" into one convenient category of "mean people". That was wrong, very wrong.
Damage was done. I am sorry for that. In blasting my post, the owner of "that site" made some assumptions of his own that are also unfounded. He has since apologized for his tone as well, but the assumptions he made drove much of the comments on my post. Somehow people took my words to mean I was not understanding, not recognizing, not being grateful for, Katrina relief efforts done by people of all sides of the issues in our church. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I didn't ever say that, although I can sorta see how you could get that impression from my post. That's the main reason I took it down - not just because I spoke wrongly, which I did in my own stereotyping, but also that anyone could misunderstand my point in that way would be terrible.
People have responded on the coast by the tens of thousands, pouring untold hours and millions of dollars into our recovery. I am eternally thankful for each and every one who has done so. As I said in my post, when you are doing this work you don't first ask folks where they stand on any issues, and in that light this recovery effort has been one example of how our divided church can be united.
I am still glad the HoB will be joining us in that effort. And I have learned a valuable lesson. I hope those offended will accept my apology.
OH AND ONE MORE THING - one commenter on "that site" kept abusing me for the "pea green soup" background of my blog. LOL! He was right - it was awful. Hence, the new blue blog!

4 comments:

AKMA said...

Ummm, David — my background is green, too. I hope this does not generate a new flare-up of hostilities.

Karen said...

Great reply, David+

Thank you again for your honesty and for raising the important issue of how we talk about one another on the blogs.

-Karen B.

Kevin said...

Well, others on 'that site 'can be nice, I do have a disposition problem [*wink*]. The exorcism complete, the blue is very pleasant. Blessings to you as you rebuild.

Eclipse said...

akma:

Only if it is a 'pea soup green' with there be a tear in the wallpaper fabric of the Anglican Communion.

Just teasing from StandFirm

Eclipse