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Showing posts from June, 2018

5 reasons I'm holding back my political opinions from social media

Many years ago, I made a wonderful discovery: I love discussing ideas online. This took place in various forums, but my favorite location for this kind of interaction was when I was part of the Burnside Writers Collective. Started by Donald Miller and and mentioned in "Blue Like Jazz", Burnside was a place for aspiring Christian writers, mostly to the left of me and mostly younger than me, to write about issues that were important to them. I debated with most of them, but in a polite and respectful way, and they eventually invited me in. Burnside is long gone now, but I have made a few friends. I've even met a couple of them in person.

As BWC faded away, I Facebook-friended most of the writers there. The Facebook discussions I had with those friends became less about posting what you had for breakfast, and more entrenched in the us-vs-them divisiveness which now plagues us as a nation. This happened not just with the friends I know from Burnside, but even from my own ch…

The Blame Game

This week, two high-profile suicides made the news. In both cases, the deceased person's many fans have commented publicly about the tragedy of a life which ended too soon. There's no argument here: it is nothing short of tragic.

Sadly, too many of us have chosen to express our sadness about the self-inflicted death of a famous person by looking for someone outside of that person to blame. Depression, mental illness, opioids, Donald Trump, past abuse, financial difficulties, and marital trouble  are among the many reasons offered up for why someone has chosen to take their own life.

As someone who's never been inside anyone's head but my own, I wouldn't dare to argue for or against the many possible reasons that have been suggested. But I will say this: to some extent, there is room for each person to be responsible for his actions.

As strange as it might seem, I see a connection between the willingness to blame outside reasons for a person's actions and the o…