Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What's the Point?

Recalling my brief conversation with Dudley Sharp, I've been thinking of my roll as blog administrator. What will I post and why will I post it?

The easy answer is anything I personally author (such as this entry), I clarify because the writing is mine. However, when I post a guest letter or article, as I did here, I sometimes let the posting stand on its own unless someone wishes to discuss it. But, in doing so, while I might not be able to defend the entirety of posting choice because I do not hold exactly the same views as the guest author. So in some ways, guest postings are advertisements for ideas that I find positive or worthwhile.

This is not to say I will not post articles I do not agree with. I do, but I will usually do so with some commentary in the posting itself. I also approve articles in the "comments" sections, but only if they are appropriate and respectful. While I did not agree with most of Mr. Dudley's ideas, his resources were compelling, worth reading, and did present a different side of the argument.

The problem with the discussion between Mr. Dudley and me was primarily that I think he believed I am Catholic or that I was using at least Christian theology to support my own arguments against the death penalty. Since I am neither Catholic nor truly Christian, I would not attempt to use John Horejsi article or actual Catholic doctrine to defend my own position. I think doing so is disingenuous and unfair. Others have no problem doing so.

I am not sure if other bloggers get into this kind of fix, but in posting inter-faith articles, I know I do. Readers might misunderstand my personal position. Perhaps I should preface or at least footnote a reason for my posting. Or is it more interesting to leave the posting alone? I don't know yet. I have seen bloggers handle guest postings different ways.

When readers approach the opposite side of an argument that I cannot neither defend nor contradict in the same way they do (for example, through a particular doctrine which I do not follow, if neither the guest poster nor someone representing the belief system comments otherwise, I will do a poor job defending anything other than my own interfaith beliefs. This probably is not satisfactory to people like Mr. Dudley, as he was commenting from John Horejsi's perspective but using opposing translation's of the same doctrines.

Because I am Unitarian Universalist, my "doctrine" (if anyone needs to hear the word--most Unitarian Universalists use the term "Principles and Purposes") my personal beliefs and journeys take me to places that more traditional religions might or might not. I do not presume to speak for everyone who is Unitarian Universalist. But, I believe in John Horejsi's Catholic-based philosophy that the death penalty does not respect life or the message of Jesus Christ.

I also believe in Bob Marshall's wanting to eradicate abortion. I do not believe a minor should be able to have an abortion without parental consent. However, I would never attempt to overturn Roe vs. Wade or inflict my personal beliefs against sex education and birth control availability (which counter Marshall's Catholic doctrine). To do so, in my mind, would be folly and unrealistic in this day in our country.

I also would never presume to put myself in the place of a woman who had made a choice I personally could not make; that is, to have an abortion. That said, I believe we SHOULD eradicate abortion by attacking the social ills that cause it: poverty, ignorance, lack of health care and birth control, lack of sex education, inadequate prevention, feelings of helplessness and the need to opt for that last resort, etc. But I would not stand in front of abortion clinics with a Pro Life sign; I just think that is an ineffective (and often offensive) means of resolving the heart of the issue.

These examples probably make it imperative for me to explain more about my guest postings, and just now in writing this, I think I have come to the decision that I should put them in context. This is one aspect of blogging I particularly enjoy: it allows writing and decision-making processes to take place as it celebrates communication and self expression.

Long live blogging, and long live respect for life itself! May we learn to live and learn together, evolving into human beings like Buddha, Brahma, Jesus, Allah, and those who have followed these models most closely.

I feel as if I have written a prayer, so I will ad, "Amen and may it be so."
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