I see that I just lost two long-term and devoutly religious followers, presumably due to my response to Just_because_today following my last post. I would have softened that response had I done as I often do, which is to go away and get myself into a better mood after writing something but before publishing it. I didn't though, and rewriting such things after they're published is of questionable benefit to those who have already received my first response in their email.
My goal in writing posts about controversial topics is not simply to preach to the choir. It is also to promote understanding among those who disagree with me. I am painfully aware that such people might very well hang in there—however tenuously—through several posts on a subject, and then leave because I expressed myself poorly in just one sentence in the response column. This leaves me feeling as if I'm walking on eggshells.
I'm sure some of you will wonder why the hell I even bother, and you might advise me to write whatever I please and let the chips fall where they may. My answer is that I find it far more interesting and constructive to communicate in a way that is true to my best thinking and that causes no more offense than I can avoid. It's a challenge that I mostly enjoy and from which I derive tremendous benefit, but because I work so very hard at it, I naturally feel badly when I fail. Of course, I also recognize that losing followers is inevitable. We all do it no matter what we write or how well we write it.
I would just ask those of you who disagree with me to cut me as much slack as you can. I am quite possibly familiar with your orientation in regard to religion, at least, because I have walked on both sides of the fence, but odds are that you know little if anything about mine. To this end, my next post on the subject won't contain rational arguments but personal experiences.
Posted by Snowbrush