I'm trying to think of a way to start this blog post out with a clever intro or a cute story.
It just won't do.
I'm frustrated. I'm frustrated and disgusted.
Against my own better judgment, I visited a blog today where I had no business being if I wanted to keep peace in my own soul. I knew better, but I couldn't stay away. I read most of the comments under a few blog posts and I straight up could not believe what I was reading.
A woman had commented looking for encouragement and advice in a somewhat desperate and ongoing situation. What she received by in return by a number of commentors, certainly not all, was at best, unhelpful and condemning- at worst, hurtful and heavy-handed. She mentioned that had difficulty with some aspects of Vision Forum-style patriarchy and was given "I don't believe what 'they' teach- I just believe the Bible" in return.
How nice for you. Would that it be clear for the rest of us who actually wrestle with these ideas!
I came away from that discussion so sad and quite angry. A common thread I find in blogs that espouse patriocentricity is an attitude of superiority. Because they have the true knowledge of what "God's Way" is, they seem to think they can speak however they wish to people and no one can answer back or question it. There is very little grace extended to anyone who disagrees, even in the slightest respect. Frankly, its snooty. I don't know what else to call it.
I have news for you folks- there are complementarians and egalitarian feminists who believe the Bible to be the sole, infallible rule of faith and practice for the Christian. They hold Scripture in the highest regard. And they disagree with what you think it says.
But that doesn't seem to compute with so many patriocentrists. Instead of actually interacting with ideas, they shut down the conversation with labels and easy answers like "you're just indoctrinated by feminism" or "these 'Christians' say they believe the Bible, but we all know the truth." Can we say "straw man"?
When you start a conversation with something like "I don't believe what 'they' teach, I just believe the Bible," you take away all chances for discussion. You are certainly implying that those who disagree with you disagree with God's Holy Word and that is often not the case.
These blogs exist to supposedly encourage wives and mothers, but they spend so much time (at least in the comments) shooting others down. In actuality, I think they exist to encourage wives and mothers who think like they do. And if you dare disagree, you're labeled as a "Christian".
These are my impressions. I could be dead wrong... but doesn't it behoove these people to take an honest look at they way they come across when people challenge them? Its not the teaching that bothers me as much as the attitude behind it. There's such an attitude of superiority- it reeks through each and every word. And instead of actually considering what the dissenter is saying, these bloggers label or condemn or make new accusations. Its really disheartening.
I'm guilty of this too- not so much the superiority complex, but of not considering that an actual person is writing these comments. A person with a heart and a soul and feelings... May God help me in this area. I know that many anti-patrio blogs are guilty of the same kind of rudeness I see on pro-patrio blogs, but the attitude behind the rudeness seems to be different.
We don't all have a monopoly on the truth. Instead of being an encouragement today, the blog I visited ruined my day because of the owner's treatment of several commentors. Its such a shame. She may have many valuable things to say. She may be the nicest person I'll ever meet, but I'll never have the chance to know that because her attitude put me off so much that I never want to go back. Ever.
My impressions are not always right... my experience with Stacy McDonald has proven that to me... but how am I ever going to be proven wrong when the guns come out blazing every time there's a disagreement?
Remember that old saying "What you are speaks so loudly, I can't hear what you say?" or in the case of blogging "What you SAY speaks so loudly, I can't see who you are"...
Perhaps we should all take that to heart.