Here are some responses to the open letter… first, the short one-or-two liners:
- Please do not send me any further email messages.
- Never contact this congregation again for any reason whatsoever. This is your first and only warning.
- You are completely nuts. Good luck to you and your family surviving COVID unvaccinated. I won’t dance on your grave, but I won’t be surprised either.
- This is toxic harmful nonsense. Please never email me again.
- Get me off this list right away.
- Please remove me from your email list immediately. I do not want to receive your emails.
- Revolve this address from your contact list.
- What a fool!!!
Please do not email me again.
Please take me off of this mailing list. I am not interested in hearing about your misguided opinions on this very serious matter.
- Thank you for your open letter via email. Our faith allows for many opinions, but I feel that your message is dangerous and will put people at risk. Kindly remove my email and the congregation’s email from your mailing list.
Mostly the theme is “go away”, which isn’t too surprising. But I can’t ignore the recurring theme of danger, harm, putting people at risk. Pulling together a list of facts, justified with references, encouraging critical thought and engagement. Add an interpretation/opinion surrounding those facts, expressing that we ought to be concerned about this issue.
All of that as a block of text and links, sent to a group of people trained to be leaders.
I’m very worried about that orientation. Especially from a group of people whose ideology tends to have little or no boundaries in what the proper role of government ought to be. I don’t identify as a liberal or conservative, but I do recognize the nugget of wisdom in the conservative ideology that government ought to be limited. But on the liberal side, if there’s any justification that can be made whatsoever that some implementation of government being for the “common good”, then the proper liberal response is that it’s justifiable to implement with government force. And of course any notion of civil liberties or personal autonomy is almost always secondary to the idea of collective rights. (in fact, it’s almost as if caring about individual liberty is scoffed at as something that nasty conservatives care about)
I sent out a “dangerous” message. It’s a slippery slope when you start saying that the role of government is to protect us from dangerous things. How ought that protection be implemented? Who decides which bits of info and blocks of text represent mortal danger to the population? How should people who communicate dangerous text be dealt with?
Answering those questions in the context of a population who trusts their authorities despite obvious evidence of corruption, and many of whom have no ideological boundaries as to the proper role of government… well, makes me a little concerned.
When trust in authority replaces critical thought in a critical mass of the population, we’re so very fucked. Extremely, badly, horribly, utterly fucked.
Once someone else dictates the thoughts your allowed to think, your free will goes away. Your person effectively becomes the property of whomever is doing the dictating.
Listen, I’m not saying that my message was a perfect depiction of reality, or 100% sound and consistent. But it does contains hard facts and and a perspective that isn’t allowed. As such, it seems to have a kind of force field surrounding it, making it so an honest evaluation of its validity is flat-out impossible for many minds. Something triggers the “dangerous” flag, and it’s full shut-down of critical thinking mode after that.
I’ll post some other responses later. It should be interesting to see where this goes.