As a blogger, I always walk a fine line. You want to give an opinion in order that the readers might have something to chew on. Sometimes that means some of your readers will disagree with you. As a blogger, you can't always sit on the fence. Sometimes you need to take sides. Sometimes you might say unpopular things.
Now I could just think to myself- well surely I am allowed to express my opinions (whether they are popular or not) without a lot of retribution. I am a free citizen. I pay to house this web site. I don't force anybody to read my posts. I have no great powers to influence anyone. I don't have power to amend public policy and set societal rules. Others certainly express their opinions freely. Shock jocks. Presidents. They do it to rabble rouse. They do it to provoke. They do it to get ratings. They do it to get noticed. Why not me?
However, I am constrained. One, even though my blog is never listed a the official voice of anything, other than my own voice, I do realize that as a minister, I represent my congregation, and my denomination. Things that I say shouldn't reflect badly on these institutions. I also have rules that I have set for myself, rules that I pay strict observance and I don't break. I don't post curse words on line. I respect the humanity of others. I try to be respectful because I want others to respect me. I try to be kind, because I like it when others are kind to me. Sometimes, I might try to educate and sway opinion a bit, but I do not set out to deliberately provoke and outrage people. I don't like being upset and take no delight in upsetting others. I blog because I enjoy it, not because I am seeking to have a larger and larger readership. So I am constrained by external and outside forces and that is just fine with me.
That was until last week. I inadvertently set off a storm of some intensity. My crime, I shared a Facebook posting of the comedian Will Ferrell in prayer. Imposed on the picture are the words "Dear Sweet Baby Jesus, please don't make brussel sprouts the cure for the Coronavirus." As someone who does not like brussel sprouts and whose stomach can't handle brussel sprouts, I thought it was funny. However, many, many friends responded that they love brussel sprouts. A friend who shared my post was jokingly called an anti-sprouter. Although not quite a blog post, my sharing of that cartoon, in jest at least, stirred up controversy. Luckily no friends were lost in the melee.
It does illustrate a point though. We live in a world that is increasingly divided between us and thems. That is sad. One just has to watch the news just for a few seconds to see combatants in war or government policy, or some opposing community interests calling each other out. Increasingly these attacks are getting nastier and nastier. Society as a whole seems to be losing the art of civilized debate; militant disagreement seems to be the norm.
So I will continue to post my blog. Some things will be blah and meaningless. Some posts might stir up some controversy. However, I will always try to engender a spirit of kindness, respect, and I will never try to upset folks just for the sake of getting them upset. Oh and one more thing- anti-sprouters of the world unite. Blessings.