Oh, just a ramble

Head over to pastor Mike's blog for a great commentary on yesterday's election results by clicking here.

Now I have to rant a little.

And it doesn't have anything to do with politics.

I like blogs. The blogisphere is truly an amazing thing - a place where people share thoughts, ideas, concerns. Though a sad substitute for actually being with people, it's nice to share encouragement and pictures and life with people I otherwise wouldn't' be able to see because, well, I live in Guatemala.

And we can each have our own little patch of blog to do with as we please. Like coloring your own place mat and laminating it - its yours and its out there for everyone to see.

And we can even comment on each others blogs. We can encourage and challenge and help one another figure things out. Which brings me to my rant.

Stop it with the anonymous postings already.

I lost count of how many blogs have 'anonymous' comments. You can just put your name in there or create a profile or even put a

- brandon (or your name)

at the bottom of your comment if you don't want to go to the other trouble.

But don't say mean or snippy or crass or hurtful things and then hide behind anonymous. It's cowardly. Shame on you who do that. Stop it.

If you are too embarrassed to have your name associated with what you said than don't say it. Just keep it to yourself. You are embarrassed for a reason, don't hide behind a facade. All our mothers told us, "If you can't say something nice..." We know how to finish that, don't we? So let's apply that to our little place mats here.

We live in an increasingly disconnected world where we text and IM and e-mail and Skype and Facebook but we don't get together and sit and talk and eat and do the things humans do. If you are not close enough to someone to smell their halitosis on a regular basis, may I suggest finding somewhere or something where you are close enough not to hide behind the cowardice of anonymity.

Authenticity is more important than our comfort. If you disagree with something on someone else's blog, figure out a way to say it that isn't mean or don't say it at all. People say things that are personal to them. Don't stamp out their thoughts.

Don't scribble all over their place mat.

We've got enough meanness out there already. Now - go find something kind to say.


Justin and Michelle said...

Right on!


Ian said...

I like ponies.

Anonymous said...

I think you're completely wrong

Ian said...

If you elaborate as to why your argument might have a little more credibility.

Otherwise, you're outing yourself as a kind of a troll.

However, I'm not going to feed you, so I'll wrap it up.

Toni said...

Brando, I see your point. People can take advantage of commenting under anonymous with harshness and underhanded meanness. I have seen that firsthand, I have seen the attacks on Michelle, Kim, Ian, myself, and others.

However, other individuals may post under this nomenclature for vastly different reasons. By posting anonymous and protecting ones identity, they can also bring up some interesting conversations when the readers cannot discern the writer's true identity and possibly make prior judgements on what the reader believes the writers intentions are.

Lets use as an example of the anonymous poster in Mikes previous blog. 'Anon' brings up a very interesting point. They may come across as harsh because he/she may be frustrated and cannot get straight answers. Its like being in a really difficult class and not understanding no matter how much you study and how many questions are asked. Maybe posting as Anon because people who read will know the identity and judge the person because of the questions they post.

I will give you a snippet of part of my own experience. I had been going to the church I grew up in for 20 years...20 years! I asked esus into my heart when I was the 'fire insurance.' I began going to CBC when I was in my 20s. The class I began attending was studying Hebrews at the time. Hebrews! I was not ever able to read and understand the book and I observed students my age and just a little younger defining, evaluating, and interpreting passages that I could never understand. Now, usually, I would walk out, but I was intrigued and wanted to learn more about what I proclaimed to believe. The next book we studied was Daniel. You taught that Brandon, very well I might add, and I asked 'simple' questions (I distinctly remember one "Daniel was HOW OLD when he was cast into the lions den?") I got some flack for that, Brandon. Not from you but I was approached by individuals wanting to 'lead me to Christ' and to 'show me the Truth' and some that shunned me they thought I did not believe. The same happened when I asked 'why do we pray?'

Maybe Anon has gone to church and has questions, maybe this Anon is an active member and feels he/she may be judged unfairly because it is information 'they should know'
And, while I am on my soapbox, the church should be more welcoming to people with questions and issues.
Anon had a great question, and Mike was a great person to approach on that.

Schweers' Mom said...

Toni, you make some good points I hadn't even thought of. I am so sorry about yoru experiences with "church folk." I have led MANY Bible studies and I love it when people ask challenging questions and don't just take what I say (or anyone else for that matter) for granted. What I don't like is when people try to be divisive in their questions and no answer will ever suit them.

I think what I've seen lately (especially with regard to the election) is anon commenters who are leaving mean-spirited responses instead of truly dissenting questions/comments of substance.

And for those anon commenters...I agree with you Brandon. Well said.

Brandon and Jenny said...

I like ponies too.

Toni - wow, what great thoughts. I think that you have a very good point in someone being able to ask a question in that manner.

I am so saddened to hear that folks from that class approached you in such a way. Asking what age Daniel was is a fantastic question - as is, "why do we pray". That someone would look down on you from that class makes me think I was maybe doing something wrong. I am so sorry that happened to you. I always tried to teach in a way to invite questions, no matter the question, as long as they weren't belligerent.

I was really talking about people using "Anon" as an excuse to be a jerk in some form, not ask incognito questions because other Christians are being jerks.

That subject makes me want to write another blog.

Thanks for all you thoughts.

Oh, and I'm assuming 'anonymous' was making a funny. Very funny.

Gerald said...

Hey bro, hows it? I felt an urgency after reading your blog to throw my six pence in on two levels. One as a teacher, nothing gets my goat, sheep, ok temper riled up than when i get an anonymous letter from a parent that questions my methods, conversation topics, etc. The second level is that i teach Bible, yet so many parents will totally disregard the Bible's guidelines for confrontation; i guess they feel that if the principal can see it their way then i will get mine...wrong! Thankfully our principal has begun to immediately tell them to schedule a meeting with us, the teachers to get our perspecitve. Funny enough, almost no parents schedule that meeting or i get the anonymous letter! I am in total agreement with you Brandon, i can totally understand toni's perspecitve and i am sure they dont want their kids looked at by me in a negative light but i am a professional here, give me some credit besides the fact that i am a CHRISTIAN!!!! AND I TEACH BIBLE!!! Anywho i think i got off base somewhat but in the end, if i get an anonymous letter it gets filed immediately the filing cabinet next to my desk, fortunately the cleaning crew cleans it out every night!!!

Brandon and Jenny said...

I think mostly if someone is going to be a jerk at least do it in person. I guess not being a jerk is far better but I'll take what I can get.

Justin said...

I'm guilty of trying to make the funny.