Stand Tall and Strong (and Pseudonymously) for What You Believe

by Jul 30, 2014Culture8 comments

Dropbox is one of my favorite tech tools. I rely on it extremely heavily, and it pretty much never lets me down. So when the Dropbox blog, to which I subscribe, announced Dropbox’s official support of a gay pride event, I felt—as a faithful, paying customer who has referred many other users to the service—that I had to speak.

But we live in a nasty world. Without claiming at all that any individual liberal wishes to commit physical violence against me personally, am I unreasonable to feel afraid to speak on this topic in that forum with my real name attached in the current climate?

So I stood tall and strong and spoke out—with a pseudonym. I got one affirming reply (note the date stamps) and then one nasty one. That’s it. I’m really interested in the theological and prudential questions surrounding Christian voices in the American public square, and I wanted to see what if any effect a modified natural law approach—one appealing both to nature and to nature’s God—might have. I think the secularist side has so completely won the right to determine debating rules that literally nothing I say can persuade someone who accepts those rules.

What would you have said differently? I’m very open to my readers’ wisdom.

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  1. jfranzone

    What is really interesting to me is that non-believers have so much to say about how hateful we Christians are. Yet, if you look at the language, they just cannot see that they are the ones who are angry, violent and hateful. Of course, I wouldn’t expect for them to see that since they are dead in their sins. I appreciate what you wrote and thought it was well spoken.

  2. Duncan Johnson

    I’m not sure I could suggest anything more effective.

    I wonder if perhaps the effectiveness of your post is actually measured by the comments it does *not* generate. Perhaps if your appeal is persuasive to any readers coming from a gay-affirming perspective, they would be fearful to say so much for the same reasons you were.

    All things considered, I think your post is actually reinforced by the antagonistic commenter. I would think that it is obvious to a thoughtful reader that he is not engaging your argument in a substantial way. Trolls don’t win arguments, but it is intimidating when trying to be persuasive.

  3. Mark Ward

    Duncan, those were exceptionally excellent and perceptive thoughts.

    Jonathan, I agree with you. Thanks for the encouragement.

  4. Duncan Johnson

    Glad to help, Mark, even if only a little bit.

    Also, thanks for taking the time to comment on that Dropbox blog post. I read it with chagrin when it came out, but did not think to comment myself. I think my motivations were partly due to fear and partly due to lack of confidence regarding how to respond. I just went over there and upvoted your comment. I hope God uses your comment for good.

  5. Jeremiah Zabal

    I admire and applaud your boldness. It can feel like a suicide mission trying to speak out from a Christian perspective on issues like these, in public, on the internet, in today’s climate. Hot-topic posts from news or popular websites occasionally pop up on my feed when Facebook friends have attempted the same, but their lack of finesse with words mostly ends up being troll bait. A little gung-ho, but shot down as soon as they break cover.

    Your comment has by far the most up-votes, and only one weak retort. I think Duncan may be right. My one criticism might be that your language is on a pretty high level to the point that it might be a turn-off for some, whether challenging to understand (I had to look up a few words), or even coming across as sanctimonious (if I may dive into the thesaurus). Others may only skim or skip it entirely due to its length. It’s kind of a shame it’s necessary to lay out your entire foundation before you get to the point, on the other hand it makes a stronger case that can stand on its own. Side note: if you’re truly wanting to preserve anonymity, you may want to unlink or plaintext the link – their site will see referrers clicking from your blog.

    I’ve pondered how it becomes that so many of these divisive issues rally behind labels that by default make any opposition out to be the bad guys. Pride. Pro-choice. Marriage equality. Sounds like positive stuff! Therefore the opposite side must be negative. Disagreement somehow equals hate. This simple polarization (which people feast on and the media encourages) obscures that there aren’t always only two options or that the other isn’t always in direct opposition.* Good marketing, I guess.

    [Like the Hobby Lobby decision you posted on previously.]

    • Mark Ward

      Excellent thoughts, and I think you’re right with your one criticism, Jeremiah. This is something I really need to keep in mind.

      And you’re right about labels. It makes me think of my all-time favorite quotation from Stanley Fish:

      [A supposedly neutral principle such as “free speech,”] just like “fairness” and “merit”—rather than a concept that sits above the fray, monitoring its progress and keeping the combatants honest, . . . is right there in the middle of the fray, an object of contest that will enable those who capture it to parade their virtue at the easy expense of their opponents: we’re for fairness and you are for biased judgment; we’re for merit and you are for special interests; we’re for objectivity and you are playing politics; we’re for free speech and you are for censorship and ideological tyranny.

  6. Dave

    I remember ole Mike Wood!


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