An (Almost Completely Fictional) Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there was a minister in a place far, far away from Abilene, Texas who had a very popular blog. For lack of a better name, lets call him “Preacher Mike.” Preacher Mike loved to write posts on his blog, and he had hundreds of daily readers.

One day, Preacher Mike noticed a New York Times editorial that discussed some particularly relevant issues that involved the way believers are perceived by outsiders. It also impacted on some issues regarding the interaction between faith and politics. Thinking that the article might serve as a helpful springboard for discussion about the mission of Jesus and its relationship with some issues that seem to be in the news these days, he posted the article on his blog.

Poor Preacher Mike. Little did he expect that almost all of the comments in response to the editorial would be expressions of offense or anger. Everyone, it seems, got upset by the article he posted, and no one wanted to undertake a serious discussion of the topic it had suggested.

Finally, dejected, Preacher Mike logged into Blogger and deleted the post, together with all of the polemic comments that were attached to it.

In the meantime, there was also another blogger. To protect his identity, we’ll just call him “Lawyer Matt.” At about the same time, he put up a couple of posts on faith/political subjects involving issues of debt and the death penalty.

Hundreds of people don’t read Lawyer Matt’s blog, but those few people who do are his friends – and they commented and discussed (and sometimes disagreed a little with what he said), but on the whole were willing to carry on a reasoned, friendly, respectful conversation on both subjects.

After considering what had happened to Preacher Mike a few days earlier, Lawyer Matt decided that he was very thankful for the solid relationships he had with his friends, and that he didn’t have to avoid questions that involve interactions between faith and politics because somebody might get upset. He was also happy that hundreds of strangers don’t read his blog every day, even though he was jealous of the numbers on Preacher Mike’s hit counter.

The end.

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