This is a blog post about blogging. And about belief. I try not to metablog too often, but it’s been on my mind a lot, so I’m gonna go for it.
First of all, what the crap am I doing over here, right? I mean, this thing started out as an ADD blog, and when that (OBVIOUSLY) didn’t last long because of my raging ADD, it turned into a humor blog where I randomly told stories about colonoscopies and neighborhood cats that terrorized my children. People started following it then, and commenting with really hilarious comments. I loved it.
And then June happened…
and suddenly my blog–my very personal place–became a really public place where people came together to talk about the issue of homosexuality. For months, I felt like there was this really awesome, usually civil, discourse around that issue. I contemplated trying to move that discussion to another place because, after all, this was my blog–the place where I shared pieces of my own life with the planet. (Granted, they were ridiculous pieces.) But at that time it felt like I should keep the discussion alive, right here on The Weed.
I think that time might be over. At least the part where I allow just anyone to say anything that suits their fancy.
For example, while I love discourse, I’m not really interested having a sweet post about my daughter’s video about Martin Luther King Jr turn into a discussion about blacks and Mormonism, which then devolves into an all out religious war. It’s a natural segue I suppose (if you’re intrigued by that sort of thing). Perhaps that interests other people? But, it’s not that interesting to me.
So, I think I am enabling comment moderation here at The Weed. At least for a while.
Allow me to be clear. I don’t mean to stifle anyone’s voice, and I fully believe in people’s right to express their thoughts. However, I’m not writing this blog to have discussions about the validity of the Mormon church. I deeply believe in the Mormon church. I do not invite and will not allow commentary that cuts it down.
I am an open-minded person, and I have read a lot of stuff. I assure you, I am not scared of truth, and I am not ignorant. I am not afraid to look at things objectively, or to hear hard truths, or to look very deeply into the mirror or into the annals of my religion’s past. I have had experiences over the last couple of years that have tested my faith very profoundly. I couldn’t even dream up the scenarios that have thrust my belief system into new, fresh contexts–contexts where I could examine things with clear eyes and heightened perspective. Only God Himself knows me well enough to have constructed some of those experiences. Experiences that allow me to look at myself clearly and say “I know what I know.”
I have contemplated truth, read history, prayed and fasted. Yet my faith remains simple and undiluted. I read the Book of Mormon every day and it helps me feel close to God. I know it comes from Him. I believe Joseph Smith saw what he said he saw. I do not think he was lying. I feel the spirit every day. When I do, I feel peace, I feel the desire to be a better man, I feel able to see those I love more clearly and love them more deeply and interact with them less selfishly. I believe in prophetic counsel, and I believe in personal revelation. I believe God guides our lives and loves His children–all of them. These are my beliefs–my most sacred truths. I do not challenge you with them but I do share them without shame or apology, and I do ask you to respect them.
It is important to me that people feel able to discuss issues here, but not in a way that feels like people are trudging mud into my own cyber-living room. This blog is my conceptual home. I want it to be treated respectfully when it comes to my most sacred beliefs, as well as the sacred beliefs of others.
There are so many other places online that support dissenting views on the LDS Church. Losing this one should not hamper anyone who wishes to find support, camaraderie or discussion of that nature. I completely respect anyone whose views differ from mine. Several of my best, closest friends have wildly different belief-systems from my own. But you’ll note that none of them come here to dispute issues of belief. That’s part of how we remain friends: we respect each other’s view points.
So, if you’re adamant that your voice and views be heard, I support you and applaud you. I invite you to google groups and blogs, at your leisure, that dovetail with the message you wish to evangelize. Or, heck, do what I did and start a blog. I will totally read a blog about your religious views if you send me a link. I might even comment from time to time because I love reading blogs, especially about religion. Don’t be silent, and don’t stop sharing your thoughts. I’m sure the work you are doing is important, and I’m positive there are people who need to hear from you.
But as for me and my Blog, we will be respectful about religion. Period. This is not the place to denigrate the Mormon church, expose “hidden” (those quotation marks are actually air-quotes that come with a severe Michelle Obama-caliber eye-roll from me, because I’m a sassy gay man and am allowed) truths or historical accounts, or challenge people you feel are antiquated or mistaken or hopelessly provincial. I love you and I love the people you are challenging and I’m tired of seeing the fallout. So, that ends now.
So yeah, comment moderation. I’m going to try it out. (This is a mechanism on the blog that makes it so comments won’t appear until I have approved them. That means that when you post a comment, it won’t show up at first.) Maybe I’ll hate it. But for now, it seems like the best choice. I’ll do my best to post moderated comments as quickly as possible and when in doubt, feel free to post a comment and let me do the work of deciding whether to post it or not.
Second item of business, I have had a lot–and I mean a lot–of people email me over the last six months.
I have done an extremely poor job of replying to people. I am so sorry! I want you to know that this has to do with my ADD, mainly. If you have emailed me and I haven’t responded, it is totally about me and my issues with organization, and has nothing to do with you or what you have shared with me or asked me. I’m spending time every day going back and responding to emails, but I have a ways to go. I am trying really hard and I am so sorry if I haven’t gotten to you. If you have something you sent a while back and I haven’t responded, feel free to send it again and in the subject line let me know that it’s the second time you’ve sent it. Your message will take priority.
Okay, business post over.
Wait, one more thing! The Ricki Lake episode we were on is going to re-air on Thursday the 24th. So, if you didn’t get the chance to see it the first time, set your DVR’s now…
Things to look forward to this week? A check-in and a FFAQ question post (which I’ll answer the next Friday, so it alternates. Like a pendulum. See how good I am at systems and organization? *finger guns* Pew pew pew!).
Over and out.