Thursday, December 14, 2006

Justice for Immigrants and blog ethics

The wonderful couple that runs the Evangelical Catholicism blog have put up an excellent link to Archbishop Wilton Gregory's statements on the US Bishops and US immigration policy, as well as information on the US Bishops' campaign website "Justice for Immigrants."

What is also rather sad is the incredibly acrimonious debate that their support for immigration reform is causing on certain blogs. Michael tries to analyze one series of exchanges between his wife and a Catholic bloggere here -- what I was struck by was his honesty, clear communication, and integrity in admitting error. All virtues that seem often to be lacking in St. Blog's where strident self-righteousness often emerges and snuffs out genuine conversation. I can imagine a modern-day Screwtape receiving a text message from his diabolical uncle, urging him to stoke bloggers' pride and quickly dissolve charity, and thus give the Devil an inroad into many hearts.

Yes things get heated, especially online. It's easy to caricature or attack an interlocutor. But, surely, as Christians, we are not called to simply win in the heat of debate, especially by uncharitable and unethical means, but to remember that everyone we are talking with is a human being? That everyone behind an opinion (any opinion, or idea, even heretical ones!) is a human being. Tough, sure. But isn't that how our genuine Chrisitianity will shine? My rule (more often than not marked in breach) is to always calm down before I write anything online, or before I hit "submit." This is something I especially keep in mind, now that my opinions aren't just about myself, but can also reflect on the Society I am associted with as a Novice.

So, Katerina and Michael -- keep up the great work and keep us thinking and pondering with all the wonderful stuff that you post at y'all's blog! Don't let such inflammatory exchanges dampen your spirit!

1 comment:

Michael Joseph said...

Thank you, Gashwin, for the encouragement. I readily admit that my statements are sometimes pompous and self-indulgent. I think I leave them up on my blog to serve as constant reminder how far I am really am from embracing Gospel humility.

Anyhow, regardless of where you may stand on the multifarious issues surrounding immigration, I am inspired that bloggers like you, Chris Blosser, Nate Wildermuth, Henry Karlson and others really take the time to think about the issues instead of blogging with gut reaction. Though you may or may not agree with my thoughts and the thoughts of others, you pull the discourse up to a purer level. Peace and blessings.