I’ve recently received messages with varying levels of condescension that have essentially told me to stop being divisive with my social media posts. I’m often asked why I feel the need to share what I share.
For starters, I rarely share anything with too much personal commentary. For example, I recently posted an op-ed piece from New York Magazine detailing the recent passing of New York’s Reproductive Health Act with very little commentary of my own. Of course, it sparked quite the conversation, and quite frankly, that’s one of the main reasons I share these things. To spark conversation.
However, unless personal attacks are made, I will almost never play referee. Most of you know where I stand, but the dialogue itself is what I want to foster. My personal, selfish goal is to observe people debating and defending their positions (with varying degrees of skill and success).
But here’s the heart behind why I share what I share.
On church and spiritual abuse: After the 31 years I spent in Evangelical/Fundamentalist churches—as an attendee, a volunteer leader, and a full-time vocational minister—I have seen and experienced things that would make any sane person cringe at best, and at worst feel horribly sick to their stomach.
Victims need to know that someone stands with them. Contrary to what my average Evangelical friend might think, I’m not sharing these articles so that I can make you angry. These posts are not for you. These posts are so that victims can know that someone out there is on their side in the face of a powerful organization like a church.
This should go without saying, but I’ll put it here anyway so that there’s no confusion. I do not equate Evangelicals with Evangelicalism. If you attend an Evangelical/Fundamentalist church, I feel sorry for you, and I’m sad that you’re feeding into the systemic oppression that your church is participating in, but I’m not targeting you. I hope one day you’ll be able to see the distinction.
On LGBTQIA+ issues: Few groups of people have received the kind of abuse and oppression at the hands of Evangelicalism that this community has. I share on this topic a lot because it’s my heartfelt belief that LGBTQIA+ people are just that: people. Therefore they are entitled to be treated as such. Sadly, they are abused, oppressed, and ostracized by Evangelicalism everywhere I look. And just like my church/spiritual abuse posts, the LGBTQIA+ community should know they have allies, and I will continue to declare publicly that I stand with them.
So, fine. If you think I’m being divisive, you’re entitled to that belief about me. In fact, maybe I am being divisive. And maybe it is purposeful. Perhaps, in seeing your angry comments on my posts, the people for whom I’m writing will know who’s safe for them to talk to and who’s dangerous.
In the meantime, I’ll continue to enjoy the conversations. I’ll learn about the various perspectives. And I’ll watch as you out yourselves as unsafe for abuse victims and my LGBTQIA+ loved ones.