Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Blogs, Facebook, and Instant, Anonymous Interactions

October 24th, 2010, Promulgated by b a

I came across this article from someone who is connected in some way to the author and I thought it worth sharing.  I believe it is written for preachers, but you could just as easily apply it to anyone w/ a voice.

Disclaimer: This is not meant as a reaction or rebuttal to any post or comment here or anywhere else.  I obviously think that Cleansing Fire is one of those situations where the truth needs to be told and that this blog is among the few voices we have in this diocese of group-think progressivism.  However, it’s always good to be reminded from time to time about potential pitfalls which we should work hard to avoid.  Posting this article is no know way intended to imply we should become soft in our debates and argumentation, but rather that we should be aware of our own human inclination to “demonize those with whom we disagree.”

At the same time, preachers ought to treat their interlocutors with respect and an empathic ear. The Golden Rule is surely in effect in such situations. Those who disagree with us are children of God, and we certainly want our perspectives to be understood. Should we not then strive to represent those with whom we disagree as fairly as possible? In fact, I think that fully understanding positions with which we disagree should precede any critique. That is, we earn our right to be critical by expressing the other’s views so fairly that those with whom we disagree would recognize and embrace our summary of their positions.

Moreover, if we are so bold as to confront our hearers, we must be willing to put our own beliefs on the line. We must be willing to hear—truly hear—arguments that diverge from ours. If we expect to persuade others, we ought to be equally willing to be persuaded. Discussions are true exchanges only if both sides enter them with a willingness to be changed. Otherwise, we are talking past each other and not with each other.


2 Responses to “Blogs, Facebook, and Instant, Anonymous Interactions”

  1. Nerina says:

    Useful reminders, Ben. I visit some other Catholic blogs with which I don’t always agree, but it does keep me open to hear what others say and think and to try and understand the other side. As my husband always tells the kids, you can’t disagree with someone until you are able to state their point of view.

  2. Ink says:

    I typically keep an open ear to my opponents so that I might properly rebut them. (Sometimes it involves research.) However, I sometimes also like to offer suggestions to fix the problems which irk me so much.

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