Monday, October 5, 2009
I certainly don't say "Amen" to Martin Marty's essay. I have no problem with your posting it, though. I'm not crying "foul." You made the judgment that it was something valuable and quite worth sharing with us, and that's fine with me. But I'm afraid it didn't provide me with an opportunity to say, "Amen! Attaboy, Michael! Great post!" That's because I think Dr. Marty's piece was weak. (On this point, of course, we have a friendly disagreement.) To some posts--even those that merely consist of calling attention to the work of someone else (perhaps adding, as you did in this case, an "Amen!")--some of us might be moved to say "Amen! That was really an insightful piece you called to our attention!" To others, we'll find ourselves unable to say "Amen!" Now, the folks sitting quietly in the pews (and they will be different ones of us at different times) won't be saying or implying that the post was offensive, or that the person responsible for the post was out of line. They won't be crying "foul!" But between "Amen!" and "foul!" there is a lot of room. In that vast space, one can acknowledge as perfectly legitimate all sorts of posts--including posts of whose content one is quite critical. So you were right to assume that, though I have a problem with Martin Marty's essay, I don't have a problem with your posting it. But having not been able to shout "Amen" this time, I do very much look forward to my next opportunity to say of something you post (perhaps something of your own) "Amen! Attaboy, Brother Michael! Preach it!"