["Scream" image: Dean Terry]
I have been thinking a great deal about race as of late. Language about being "post-race" in the church and society these days has really been bubbling up some thoughts for me. I WAS going to finish off a post about the current state of race in the church and society in light of the Obama election, but then this AM was greeted with really nasty comments left on my various blogs. I hesitate to lift it up, but as I began thinking more about the subtleties of race today, these comments just kept coming to mind so I figured, meh, I would blog a bit to vent and share some of my inside voice.
I will not take the time to share the specifics of the comments – and they have been removed and sender blocked -, but they were clearly directed specifically at me as an Asian American, a Christian, a pastor and the Moderator of the PC(USA). Now I realize that this somewhat comes with the territory and these comments are in no way representative of most folks, but it did give me a moment of pause to think that this person’s voice and intentionality to know who I am and what I do is certainly indicative of some part of our cultural and national psyche around issues of race, religion and culture.
Sad really. But yet one more shock back into reality.
Again, I am going to reflect more fully – and thoughtfully – on race in a future post this week, but for this I just want to leave some advice to those who may choose in the future to leave such comments and expect that they will be left for others to read. You can always read my Comment/s Guidelines, but in case that is too much of an effort, here are some tips*.
- If you are going to use profanity, at least be creative about it. Using the eff word as an adjective is the easy way out. It takes a stealth like wit to weave together expletives in a way that elicits respect and awe. I have many a friends who can do it without a second thought if you want references.
- My children and family read this blog, so please be sure to note on your comments if you would mind me coming into your home and damning you to an eternal life of fire and hell . . . which seems like overkill. Plus you certainly don’t want to get on the wrong side of Momma Bear. It is not pretty when you do.
- And finally, if you choose to use derogatory words for me or my ethnic background, the effect is lost when you get my ethnicity wrong. If you can’t tell, just play is safe and just pick on "Orientals" as a whole 😉 For future reference, I am Filipino, Chinese and whole lot of coffee.
Okay . . . so I know this might not be the most pastoral way to respond, but I do think that often times we laugh in order that we do not cry.
* Just in case my oh-so-nuanced snarkiness masked it, let me be very clear and say that no comments will be tolerated that I feel are not offered in good faith and left in order to build up the great community. Disagreement welcomed, hate need not apply. My blog, my rules.
** Just because I thought this was priceless. [h/t: abbykk]