I write a lot of reviews, interview artists, and post photographs on Backseat Writer. Yet much of what I do passes by without commentary here or anywhere else. That is, until I dared to review Fall to Grace by Jay Bakker. Because I disliked the book so much, I thought perhaps I should pass on giving my opinion. But I didn’t; I wrote a review and posted it anyway.
Instead of flying under the radar, like so much of my work, my negative review of Fall to Grace has a bunch of people up in arms (interestingly enough, all my harshest critics are men…hmmm…). Instead of sticking to the facts, some have made it personal, especially when I had the audacity to post my review on Amazon.com’s product page.
So I caved. I deleted my Amazon review because anonymous individuals called me a “gay hater” and used other choice language in referring to me. I mean, for a bunch of people who just read a book on grace, they didn’t seem to be showing me the love (or grace) Bakker intended for Christians to showcase to the world. Talk about adventures in missing the point.
Just because I disagree with Jay Bakker and don’t like his book doesn’t mean I hate Jay Bakker. I question his methods, his exegesis of Scripture, and am concerned about his teachings. However, I’m sure that Jay Bakker and I could find common ground, have a good laugh together, and I’d probably kick his butt playing Super MarioKart on Wii (OK, he’d probably beat me.) I am making an assessment of his product and the things he markets in that product, not Jay Bakker himself.
Just because I think homosexuality is a sin doesn’t mean I hate gay people. In fact, I like them a lot. I have known many fine individuals who were in same-sex relationships. And guess what? They thought I was bizarre for being a virgin! But we could still all get along and be friends.
I shouldn’t have to explain this to anyone. Unfortunately, I don’t have the pleasure of personally knowing everyone who reads Backseat Writer or my personal blog. I’d like to think that if readers stick around for a while, they will have the opportunity to see the love I have for others, for God, for the world in my writings. I want people to see my heart, maybe into the depths of my soul.
However, I do have a right to my opinion and I have a right to express that opinion, even if it isn’t popular. I welcome feedback from others. The problem is that sometimes people want to be “right” and blur the lines on what is and is not appropriate. Personal attacks are uncalled for and show small mindedness. I only ask for the respect I try to show others, even when we disagree on matters.