May 07, 2005
Live blogging faith-based blogging.....
An evangelical Christian I am not. But I have been sitting here experiencing La Shawn Barber's panel on Faith-Based/Evangelical Blogging, and I have to say there's more feeling in this room right now than in any other panel I've experienced so far.
During the discussion of definitions and terminology, I described myself as a "Pantheist" who believes in fairness, and pointed out my beef with the inability of people to talk to (instead of at) each other. Why, I asked, does "theocrat" only seem to mean Christian?
There's now some discussion of whether faith based blogging is political. Ed Cone and Donald Sensing both mentioned a North Carolina church which expelled all Democrats. Reverend Sensing opined that such a church should lose its tax exempt status, noting that his faith comes before his politics, but the latter is not dependent on the former.
Ed Cone just said that he and his family support gay rights, and he doesn't like being told that makes him (or his family) "against family values." Ed thinks weblogs can bridge some of this gap.
Things are getting lively. I'm glad I chose this panel.
More later as it comes, I hope....
It's very exciting to see the independence of thought, the intelligence, and the imagination of people so often stereotyped as Bible thumping bigots.
MORE: Liveliness aside, I was quite struck by the civility and lack of contentiousness at this panel, despite obvious and profound disagreement.
Right now I'm attending Mark Glaser's panel on protecting bloggers, which means I'm missing the contentiousness here.
Can't be two places at once!
MORE: Well, I tried to be in two places at once, and I just saw Dave Winer go ballistic because he thought someone in his audience laughed at what he'd just said about being in a global environment. He really yelled at the guy, too. Said it was the most abusive thing he'd ever seen or something.
I don't think Mr. Winer would especially like my sense of humor. Anyway, I returned to the panel on Protecting Bloggers.
MORE: I tracked down the guy who got in trouble for laughing. His name is Stan Brown, he has a blog, and with all due respect I think Mr. Winer may be confusing disrespect with the failure to be a stuffed shirt.
UPDATE: Les Jones saw the whole
Early on, Winer semi-admonished Robin Burk from Winds of Change when she casually mentioned posters and commentors in the course of her comment. Winer stopped her and said he didn't believe dividing people into posters and commentors because he doesn't believe in hierarchies.There's more, and I never realized how moronic I was about RSS.
Q. How come I never paid attention to Dave Winer before this?
A. Because I'm stupid, obviously.
Earlier this evening I was sitting around the lobby talking with Trey Jackson (who has a noticeable Southern accent), and Dave Winer came up and said "Hey, Y'AAAALLL!" He might have meant well, although I could have sworn I detected an undertone of disrespect in his voice. And so without thinking, right away I blurted out, "I'm from Philadelphia!"
Then I realized I really didn't have to be defending myself. (After all, he wasn't making fun of MY Southern accent.) But Dave Winer would be the first to condemn prejudice based on region, so I must be misreading this, right? See how easily a perfectly innocent remark can be misread?
This is getting to be contagious, and I obviously need a lecture on civility.
Can we get along?
MORE: Dave Winer answers, sort of:
Most red state and blue state people can get along, even like each other, were it not for a very small number of people who won't let the conversation take place. Five people dominated, if they hadn't, I think we would have found lots of shared values.It would never have occurred to me that red state and blue state people might not be able to get along. I try to get along with people who disagree with me -- even if they laugh at me, and even if they are disrespectful. As I've said before, problems arise when one man's disagreement is seen as another man's disrespect.
It's also complicated by the fact that it is entirely possible to respect a person without respecting his opinion on a given subject. Respecting another person is what we call civility. Must that necessarily mean respect for opinions unworthy of respect?
Claiming that you respect a person's opinions when you don't is dishonest.
Believing that you respect a person's opinions when you don't is self deception.
I don't think it assists this inquiry to maintain blindly that all opinions are entitled to respect no matter how absurd. Is it possible to "respect" the opinion that the earth is flat? That the white race was created in a test tube by an evil black doctor? Where is the line drawn? Clearly, there is a right to be wrong, and there is a right to be treated with respect. But it smacks of tyrannical mind control to tell me that I must really and truly respect opinions I consider ridiculous. I'd never expect anyone who thinks my opinions are unworthy of respect to respect them. Is Dave Winer demanding dishonesty from people?
If so, how does that further the cause of respect?
MORE: Ian at The Political Teen has the video of the interaction between Dave Winer and Stan Brown.
posted by Eric on 05.07.05 at 03:40 PM
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