Naming the Elephants

(Or things that I feel the need to mention before I continue blogging)

  1. A large percentage of my audience is, I believe, Mennonite. (If you’re not, this entire post might be confusing to you. I apologize. Feel free to ask questions.) This is understandable since for the first 22 years of my life I was Mennonite, and I don’t really have a problem with it. But it bears mentioning in light of…
  2. I am not Mennonite any more. I mean, this is a bit subjective based on whether you believe Mennonite is a religion or an enthnic group, but I don’t look like the kind of Mennonite that I used to look like, and that seems to be a highly important factor to some of the Mennonites I know. NOT ALL. The point is, though, that insofar as Mennonite is a religion, I no longer belong to it or believe in it. But there are some in my audience who do, and of those there are some who believe there is something very wrong with my choice to leave it. 
  3. I acknowledge that if you are one who believes I am violently sinful or slightly misled for leaving the Mennonites, you have the right to your opinion. I would be interested to discuss it with you. Feel free to contact me. However, if you come into my blog house and write your judgments in comments on my walls, I will wash them off. Especially if they are off-topic from the blog post itself. I am not a believer in censorship, but the internet is as open to you as it is to me (actually, maybe it isn’t, depending on what version of Mennonite you are – but to be that is your choice. It could be as open to you as it is to me) and while you have the right to speak your opinion, I have the right to use the platform that I pay for in whatever way I believe to be best.
  4. I have my opinions about the Mennonite culture, but at the base of it all is this: Mennonites are simply a subset of humanity, and I have seen about as much good within the Mennonite culture as I have seen in any group of people who claim to be Christian. I have also seen about as much evil within the Mennonite culture as I have seen in any group of people who claim to be Christian – or rather, more, because I am more acquainted with these people. But there are Mennonites who I love, and Mennonites who I find disturbing, and Mennonites who I admire, and Mennonites who I avoid. So I don’t assume that you are a good person – or not – just because you’re Mennonite. I wait and see. Just like I would if you wouldn’t be Mennonite.
  5. I may occasionally write about Mennonite-ism. For better or worse, it’s been a formative part of my life. There are things I’m grateful for and there are things that I’m still working to overcome. If you love this religion, the things I say may make you uncomfortable. I am not sorry. Often the things I say make me uncomfortable – that’s why I haven’t posted anything in months. This entire post is making me uncomfortable right now. But I believe that in order to think and to grow, you have to risk being uncomfortable. I can only speak from my experience and my perception, and I promise I will not force you to read anything I write. 
  6. I am tired of trying to be right all the time. This is not your fault; this is a burden I chose to pick up. I’m choosing to put it back down. I wanted this blog to be a place to think and to wonder, to learn and to wander, not a place to preach my personal dogmas. I tend to speak in declaratives, but the truth is, I hold most of my opinions with a light grip. Sometimes I will say things because I would like to hear what you think about them. Sometimes I will say things that I agree with now, and later I will discover they are wrong. Sometimes I will say things just to try them out. I will always be interested to hear your responses to my thoughts.

That is all. Thank you for being here, thank you for being interested in the stories about reality that I tell myself.

One thought on “Naming the Elephants

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