Thursday, September 28, 2006

When intolerance comes for you

This week's UPI column was surprisingly hard to write, even though the experience is so fresh, I can't escape it.

I wish I could get beyond the feeling of being misunderstood and judged. My editor reminded me that Jesus felt this way throughout his ministry. Isn't that ironic? I didn't know that by questioning orthodox doctrine, I'd have a Jesus-like experience. The mother who issued the warning about this blog and the column said that she has a sacred duty to pass on the Catholic faith to her children and therefore she must protect them from influences that undermine that perspective.

It occurred to me today that I hold a different sacred trust. I believe it is my duty to pass on to my children the actions and attitudes I see modeled by Jesus... to show mercy, to release people into freedom, to be transformed by encounters with others, to forgive, to bless, to offer hope, to not draw the circle too tightly around "correct" doctrine or beliefs.

I understand the impulse of the warning... I've lived there. What I haven't experienced or understood before is what it's like to live on the other side of the warning. Time for me to learn how to tolerate and forgive what hurts me.

In that vein, I think it's time to open the Gospels...


OldMom said...

I am speechless. Not shocked that this happened; I am sorry to say I had less trust in the hsing community than others might and I've worried on your behalf for some time. Just speechless with anger that this is how things go. I have a few thoughts better left to email and can't get to that until tomorrow but I wanted to give you a cyberhug.

julieunplugged said...

Thanks. I keep thinking I'm over it and then some new little revelation or indication of loss of trust throws me again.

I appreciate your empathy. It means a lot.


SusansPlace said...

You will live up to your motto, Julie, I have no doubt about that!

I'm sorry for this experience but I am not surprised. Be brave! All those that make a way for others to be free, must be brave.
You are a waymaker.

Keep on keeping on!

Love you,

Aneta said...

I,for one, hope you continue being the bravewriter that you are. I have so enjoyed this blog, because it really makes me THINK about what I believe.I'm a homeschooler that has been reading your Bravewriter blog for quite some time (and I keep on passing it on to others!)because your thoughts on homeschooling are SO right on. It wasn't long ago that I found this blog and am totally intrigued and interested in your journey. To be honest, at first I was a little concerned, wondering who 'Julie' of Bravewriter really was. But I'm learning that questions are good! If we were all more honest with ourselves and each other, we would have to admit we ALL have questions when it comes to our faith. I do, and I know my kids do, too. If I pretend those questions aren't there, I do a disservice to my children and myself. I really think it's fear that causes the reaction you received from those you mentioned. Sometimes we are afraid to question our beliefs (because it shows a lack of faith?) and we think we're protecting ourselves and loved ones by disengaging, and choosing to live in some sort of bubble that's going to pop sooner or later whether we want it to or not. I say continue to be who you are..your Bravewriter information is SO needed in the homeschool community, and like your husband said, it will stand on its own merit. And this blog has made my faith stronger!
I really like this saying: Be Yourself. Those who mind don't matter. Those who matter don't mind.

Dave said...

I'm sorry to hear that this backlash continues and that the people who initiated it seem intent on really complicating things for you.

On the internet tonight I read a story of the judge in Dover PA who ruled against intelligent design and how he got death threats and had to have federal security on patrol for awhile to keep him safe. Presumably these are "good Christians" who are willing to initiate strong condemnation in order to dissuade people from opposing their plans for exerting control and setting limits on society. It's a very discouraging thing to see people who claim such a moral high ground behaving so outrageously and not even having a clue as to how spiteful and vindictive they've become. I have tried and I know you have too, to keep a fair and considerate opinion of people who continue to embrace beliefs that have become problematic and "unbelievable" but it seems that not everyone prizes equanimity and careful listening to the other in this world.

There are lessons in this for everyone involved, Julie. I just hope that the price doesn't get as high as some perhaps would like to make it for you.

australisa said...

Wow, I thought that I posted this and I come back to see that I didn't. Oh well.

<<< Isn't that ironic? I didn't know that by questioning orthodox doctrine, I'd have a Jesus-like experience. >>>

LOL, isn't questioning the orthodox what Jesus did throughout his ministry?

Bilbo said...

Hi Julie,

I am heading out of town for the next three days but I just wanted to say that I too am sorry to hear about what you are going through. It's hard enough dealing with the internal pressures of the kind of journey you are on but to also have to deal with the external pressure from people you consider friends or fellow travelers must be deeply disappointing and hurtful. Emotional pain is never pleasant or easy but I hope some positive comes out of this for you....Blessings....

Kansas Bob said...

I love this ...

"Your business will stand on its own terms. You must be who you are. And those who like what you offer will come. Those who don't, let them go."

... Amen! God bless your husband for affirming you in this way.

I posted a few days back about Corrie ten Boom's struggle with someone that caused her pain. I shared her message with about 20 guys at our local jail on Tuesday. I told them to not give any more power to people that have hurt them.

Blessings to you Julie! Your posts are so encouraging for so many of us. I pray that this situation will cause more business to come your way.


Kansas Bob said...

I read this quote today and thought of your post:

"People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest." -- Hermann Hesse

julieunplugged said...

I got some feedback from a friend that she felt I might have painted with too broad a brush that all homeschooling conservatives put ideas ahead of people, doctrine ahead of quality work, etc.

I hope I didn't convey that. I was intending to describe a mindset - one I used to hold, to some extent, in fact, and one that I am bumping up against in my business in certain contexts. There have been many friends in the homeschooling community who have been supportive, stood up for me and have not treated me as dangerous. I am most grateful to them and they were not in my mind when I wrote those words.


julieunplugged said...

Hi Aneta! I have seen your comments before on my blog but didn't realize you were a homeschooler. :) Thanks for your encouragement. It really helped yesterday.


Carrie said...

I just wanted you to know I read the column and felt very sad (and a little angry) over the whole thing. But my greatest sadness comes from the fact that I was where that other homeschooling mem is now. And it wasn't that long ago. I understand the mindset very well, and even sympathize with it still in some ways. My first question is still: What worldview is this written from?

The thing is, I know you. I've read your posts and ideas for, what? eight or more years. I've met you, hugged you, cried with you, laughed with you. I think I klnow something of your heart, your compassion and your gentleness. Even so, your writing can make me so mad! And your journey has shaken me at times. Other people don't know you and it's easier to just react.

I chose to trust you and God and follow the journey I haven't always understood. You, and TD, have had a profound influence on my own journey. You have taught me how to trust and not fear, especially other people and ideas.

You have to keep being who you are and keep trusting, as our mutual friend would say, in the benevolence of the universe.

The backlash to your public honesty may affect your business. But in the long run I believe there will be those who will seek you out simply because of the honesty and the jouney. People who are glad to not have to slog through hidden agendas.


isaiah said...

"Your business will stand on its own terms. You must be who you are. And those who like what you offer will come. Those who don't, let them go."

You go Julie!

brian said...


I'm disappointed, but not at all surprised to hear the reaction you've gotten from some homeschoolers. It's sad when people think their beliefs are so fragile they can't stand the slightest question (let alone a real challenge). Unfortunately, that is the mindset of many homeschoolers and is, in fact, exactly why they homeschool. Whenever I tell people we homeschool, I wonder if they'll think it's for that very reason, because we want to shelter our children from "the world's" ideas.

I think Jon's right though. Your business will stand on its own. You might take a short term hit. But, I bet in the long run, you'll gain more business from people who admire your willingness to be up-front about who you are.