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Living Upside Down

I’m Such a Coward

Quite often, I think of great things to blog about then, one of three things happens.

  1. I’m not near a computer at the time, but I assure myself that I will most definitely remember that absolutely fantabulous idea later and I do not write it down. Very unwise.
  2. I get distracted by life in general and children in particular and by the time I can get to the computer the blog post is no longer topical. Darn those pesky children who expect to be fed and cared for.
  3. I want to write about something important and meaningful and I chicken out. I then read something incredible written by another blogger and kick myself that I wasn’t brave enough to write about it myself.

Obviously I need to get a notebook and a better routine to deal with the first two. I think I’ve found the solution to the third problem. I’ve just read an amazing post on a topic I have long felt passionate about and an amazing response to the post that shows just why it’s important to write about the important things. Nothing like the bravery of someone else to convince you to overcome your fears.

Thanks to a Facebook link by Yvette Vignando from Happy Child, I today discovered the Single Dad Laughing blog. In November last year, blogger Dan Pearce wrote a post titled ‘I’m Christian, unless you’re Gay.‘ This was followed up today with ‘A Teen’s Brave Response to “I’m Christian, unless you’re Gay”’. These posts have reminded me why blogging isn’t just a self-indulgent outlet for frustrated wannabe writers.

You need to go and read both of those posts now. Really.

Dan’s original post moved me deeply. I’m a Christian and I have long felt uncomfortable with the way many Christians and Christian churches target particular groups within the community and ‘blame’ them for undermining our society. I’ve never understood it. If we believe that (perceived) weakness and flaws in others are a problem, then aren’t our own weaknesses and flaws just as likely to be a problem? We listen to sermons that talk about love, forgiveness and the fact that all sins are equal in the eyes of God and the we walk outside and impose a strict hierarchy of wickedness on actions, with our own weaknesses given the lowest possible ranking.

I’ve never been able to get my head around the inequality of it all. I am grateful that I have the freedom to express my faith, to form my own opinions, to choose my own priorities. Why would I not want others to have that same freedom? Why do I believe that I have a greater right to integrity and self-determination than someone else? What makes me so special and them less so?

It is the underlying arrogance of people on both sides of the debate (about same-sex marriage, homosexuality in general, religion vs. atheism, lifestyle choices, health choices, whether eating sugar will poison us all) that leaves me feeling frustrated and, when Christians are involved, quite often embarrassed and ashamed of how my own faith is represented.

Of course I think that what I believe is right. That’s why I believe it. I think that my life choices, my faith, my priorities are the best possible from the options available. That’s why I chose them. BUT, and this is the important part, that doesn’t mean I have the right to force others to share my view, to demean and belittle them if they disagree, to ostracise, ridicule and mock them if they don’t share my opinions or to blame them for all that is wrong with the world. If I want the right to set the priorities for my life, I should extend that same privilege to others.

If you didn’t follow the links to the Single Dad Laughing blog above, you really should go now. If you’re a Christian or simply someone who believes that their faith gives them an inside edge on the way things ‘should’ be, I strongly recommend you read the original post, then read the response post that shows just how much damage can be done by judging actions without acknowledging the person and their need for unconditional love.

As a Christian, I found the original post confronting. As a parent, I found the incredibly wise and heartfelt words of the 15-year-old boy just as confronting as I consider the way I deal with my own children and the efforts that I make to ensure that they feel accepted and valued in their own home.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what I really want to do with this blog and I think today I’ve worked it out. I’ll still be writing frivolous posts about random things that catch my eye, but I’ll also be speaking up about the important things. Thank you Dan for your courage. You’ve inspired me to be brave too.

6 Responses to “I’m Such a Coward”

  • Wow Susan – the Single Dad post and then the response – my mind is spinning a bit.

    Being brave on our blogs is very very hard because we are so conditioned to not rock the boat. But when we do – that’s when big things happen.
    Kelly Exeter recently posted Random musings from a trip to the East – Part 1

    • Susan:

      I know, both posts certainly offered a lot to think about. I’m planning to let my older son (almost 13) read them this weekend when we’ve got a bit of time to chat about them afterwards.

  • Just wow… Very emotive stuff! I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to write that post either but definitely applaud such bravery in others! Thanks so much for sharing this and good luck on your own courageous writing quests
    Donna @ NappyDaze recently posted Wake up call for one at DPCON12

  • That Dan is a very clever man. And he writes well, especially about the things that matter. I think this is exactly what blogging is for, expressing your opinion, saying how things really are, what you really think.
    Dorothy @ Singular Insanity recently posted Three days, three events, some photos and one giveaway

  • Cate P:

    Sometimes I think I give too many opinions, but that’s me, I am who I am. You are who you are; not a coward, just quieter than me (which isn’t hard). Express what you want, when you want, and do it naturally.

    • Susan:

      I think that I’ve been frustrated trying to blog the ‘right’ way and it has stopped me simply writing about the things that are meaningful to me. As a result, I haven’t written much at all. I’ve been rethinking my approach and the posts at Single Dad Laughing really brought home to me how meaningful blogging can be when it comes from the heart, not from a formula about what ‘works’.

      The other reason this really resounded with me is because this issue is one that I have felt frustrated about for some time and wanted to write about, but always chickened out before. I receive emails from Christian friends including people at my church asking me to sign petitions against same sex marriage and a while ago one to ban the burkha, and it drives me crazy that they assume that everyone has to conform to their choices for what is ‘best’.

      I guess it comes down to writing about what is meaningful to you, whether that is opinions, frivolous or random musings (or a combination of all three).

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Susan Whelan - freelance writer, wife, mother, Novocastrian, compulsive reader, user of big words and inadequate housewife. Contact me at susan@whelanflynn.com.

By the way, I'm copyrighted. All of me (especially the good bits).

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