On Going Viral

Well, this has been interesting. As of right now, my post on “Why I am a Christian Democrat” has nearly 30,000 Facebook “likes” and almost 350 comments. This has never happened to me before. It’s exciting, gratifying, and a little exhausting.

The gratifying part: I’ve heard (on the blog and privately) from many people who are grateful that I put their own thoughts into words. (I think this is actually the reason God called me to write. I hear this a lot from people, no matter the topic: “Thank you for saying what I have wanted to say, but couldn’t find the right words.” I really think this is my ministry. It has taken me many years, and many words, to figure that out.) A few commenters said that, while they are not Christians, my post offered a more positive, optimistic perspective on what religious people think and how we vote than they normally see. I think those comments were most gratifying of all, since we Christians of all persuasions have a special knack for talking amongst ourselves and failing to connect with those who don’t identify as followers of Christ. A very few people said that they don’t agree with me—that they are Christians who vote Republican—but nevertheless appreciated my honesty and interest in promoting conversation around the relationship between our faith and our political viewpoints.

And then there were the many commenters who so nicely proved my main point. My main point wasnot to say that Democrats are great and Republicans stink. The title was “Why I am a Christian Democrat,” not “Why Everyone Else Should Be Christian Democrats.” Rather, my main point (or one of them anyway) was that there is a prevalent notion among conservative Christians, and to some extent the media, that “real” Christians are conservative Republicans. This message came through loud and clear in many of the comments. I deleted some of them, because claiming to be a “true Christian” and then telling me and those who agree with me that we are deluded, liars, posers, etc. clearly violates the clause in my comment policy concerning libelous and defamatory comments. But I left a few in there, just because they prove the point so nicely.

Since publishing this post, I’ve had dozens of people subscribe to my Facebook page and newsletter, so I’m assuming that there are also some new blog readers who have subscribed via RSS or e-mail. To any newcomers: Welcome, and thank you for reading. I’ll be publishing some new posts next week on my usual topics. Politics are not my usual topic, by the way. I focus on disability, ethics (specifically reproductive ethics), family and parenting, and the ways in which my faith intersects with all of those things. I write about church and dogs and broken bones and kids and money and lots of other stuff. I wrote this book, which brings all of those topics together. Like the book, most of what I write has an element of memoir/story in it. I hope you like it, and chime in when you have something to say.

 

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About Ellen Painter Dollar

Ellen Painter Dollar is a writer focusing on faith, parenting, family, disability, and ethics. She is the author of No Easy Choice: A Story of Disability, Faith, and Parenthood in an Age of Advanced Reproduction (Westminster John Knox, 2012). Visit her web site at http://ellenpainterdollar.com for more on her writing and speaking, and to sign up for a (very) occasional email newsletter.


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