You've got a blog. Yaayyyyyhhh!!!
Being a minister gives you a lot of opportunity for release of your opinions and musings. Sermons, lessons, classes and newsletter articles all allow you some outlet. Mostly, however, these are reserved for scholarship and life application. What do you do when you have even more to say than all of these outlets allow, and no one dying to hear it?
You get a blog. Yaayyyyyhhh!!!
I've been thinking that if I ever did a blog, I would first write about how egotistical our culture has become. We seem to think that every breath and evern bowl movement must be chronicled. We have cupboards of home videos that we never watched, but maybe hope some anthroplogist will stumble upon and be riveted by the shaky camera work, little Johnny unwrapping his fourth pair of socks at Christmas and Aunt Tilly stuffing turkey into her mouth. After all, everyone must get our perspective on how we have redefined and refined our version of Americana. These blogs must be read, so that people know what we think. We are important and great and so on and this greatness must be acknowledged!!! Although we have the capacity to be a fascinating bunch of carbon molecules that God has strung together, I'm not sure that what everyone writes is so interesting. Seeing people wrestle with difficult concepts or situations and emerge victorious is what I think is so interesting about us. Merely writing about it should be reserved for those who can communicate that struggle through text. Not all of us can do that.
So, now you get to judge if I can do that. Utilizing my freedom of expression, I shall exercise it with great care. And, although I'm glad we have this freedom, it has not always been to our benefit. In fact, there have been times in American history when freedom of expression has been a liablity. This right that we so covet has been responsible for some of the undoing of civil discourse in all of its purest forms. Whatever chance we had of elevating that discourse takes another one for the team every time someone waxes idiotic on their blog. In the blogosphere, it seems, Thomas Paine doesn't have a chance.
Of course, our speech has also sparked and sustained revolution. Who would have felt emboldened to take the Pepsi Challenge without our freedom of speech to speak out against the tyranny of the UnCola? The subsequent Cola Wars would not have happened, which would have left us without new Coke, which would have left VH1 without an entire cadre of pop culture jokes. Keep an eye out fourth installment of "I Love the 80's" or some such thing. I'm sure it's coming. It leaves me questioning whether this freedom thing is really so great...
But, of course, it is so great. This morning I was reading a well-written rant about incoherent ranting. It was nice. Pleasant. Unassuming. It was not jingoistic, iconoclastic or obnoxious, but an even-handed view, proving that there is still much to be said. Hopefully, in the hands of the right people, it will be interesting.
I'm certainly not trying to be elitist, but I have said for many moons that you don't have a right to an opinion; you have a right to an informed opinion. It's not a right legislated from the Constitution or activists judges on a high court. It's probably more of a responsiblity than a right, and you owe it to culture, history, all of creation and the Creator to adhere to this responsiblity. Especially in the area of religion, spiritually, and life temporal and eternal, it is our responsiblity to speak rationally and thoughtfully; to ask the tough questions and expect an intelligent answer; to mine the depths and then plumb them, so that we know of what we speak and what we believe.
So, with all of that in tow, I signed up for this blog, gave it an off-the-top-of-my-head lame title, and, whoop, here it is.