The recent furor over the Rev. Jeremiah Wright -- that shows no sign of dying down -- has made obvious the danger in having a place where a religious leader can speak their own mind.
I have kept this blog "anonymous" -- the quotation marks are intentional. Anyone who knows me would instantly know this was my blog.
My reason for anonymity was to give myself the space to be honest. Especially when I was going through the worst of times, I needed a place to be able to open up. But I know myself -- if I knew that people who know me "in real life" could read my blog, I would begin to write for them, assuring them that I was fine, everything was good, no worries.
But who are we kidding. If a reporter were ever to take interest in my blog -- or anyone's -- they'd have name-rank-and-serial-number within an hour.
I don't mind owning my words, as confusing or mistaken as they might be at the time. I take, as my philosophy on this matter, the words of Emerson:
However, we have now entered a world in which not only will I be held liable for any thoughts I utter (or write), but my audience shall be held liable as well. If I say -- or write -- something outrageous, it can be used against them. How far might this go? If we use this on a presidential candidate today, who will it be tomorrow? Senator, mayor, councilperson? President of the PTA? Teacher?
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today. -- 'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' -- Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.
We are entering a time of forced transparency. It's a YouTube World, Baby, and we are just meat for the grinder. Podcasts of our sermons, worse yet, videos -- can be used not only against us, but against those for whom we've pledged to minister to. 5 seconds of a 20 minute sermon can be pulled out, twisted around, stripped of original meaning. Uploading our texts to share with the world is like handing weapons to those enemies of our parishioners.
And so, dear friends, I leave you. I will miss you, I will continue to follow your prophetic voices, even as I silence my own.