Friday, August 08, 2014
A Word of Thanks
My Daily Kos post of yesterday received nearly 300 comments. Before I get started, I want to thank a couple of people on the boards who came to my aid in the midst of many sarcastic, short-sighted, and skeptical comments. I also want to thank Birmingham Friends Meeting, who provided me moral support when I was trying to put out about eight fires simultaneously. I love you deeply and miss you tremendously.
If I were a first generation Quaker, I'd know immediately that I'd be living a hard life, one where I'd be on trial often and in jail frequently. Systems were in place to supervise children whose parents were in jail. Having stated the history, I pray for the courage and the peace of mind to respond to those who have their own issues with organized religion. If I am to be faithful to the courageous Friends who came before me, I know that I must speak my mind in the face of criticism.
This is my responsibility. The founder of Quakerism, George Fox, deliberately interrupted Anglican church services, convinced that his way was the best and most accurate. Unlike Fox, I happen to believe that no faith or lack of faith is any better or any more superior. But, I take great pride in what I believe. It forms the basis of my identity. Should I share it with others, the intent is never to win converts. Suspicion and fear take us in directions that are not healthy. If all a person knows to do is start punching or criticizing, this leaves no room for mutual understanding.
To some, it seems tough and empowering to flex muscles and fight fire with fire. I'm not out to judge, but what I will say is that no one really ever took the opportunity to make the connection that I was seeking. If it had been up to me, we'd have discussed the link between our very religious First Wave feminists, and the skepticism of organized religion that exists among many today. But being that no one even gave me the opportunity, everyone started projecting their own fears instead. I don't think many of them really understand religion at all, aside from it being some Bogeyman.
The criticism I have received since then is pretty tone-deaf. Some want to pin a transgression or two upon me that isn't accurate. I have no inclination to have a war of words with people who aren't listening anyway. If they ever could look outside of their insular worldview, a dialogue could be opened. But instead, they want to be right. Diplomacy isn't about right or wrong.
Feministe is barely functioning as it is. Sometimes it goes a whole week before being updated. Their approach to me is hardly an insult, but it is a wasted opportunity. Let's really talk. Let's not return fire. I don't think certain people are really capable of being anything more than attack dogs.