Mike Bird wrote a post about the connection between Christmas, December 25th, and the “triumph of Christianity over paganism.” Many pagans were less than flattered or impressed.
What struck me most was that in her post it didn’t get ugly. And I saw in that something beautiful. A bright, shining example of the possibility of disagreeing strongly with someone and yet finding a way to do so in a manner that shows more respect than had been shown by the person to whom you are responding to, and so setting the course of the subsequent conversation on an upward trajectory rather than a downward spiral.
(I realize that I might be suspected of having been swayed by the fact that Star’s post described me as “always awesome.” And so let me remind you that Mike describes me as the “Lady Gaga” of biblioblogging – which is obviously a compliment).
I’m also glad that this incident has given me an excuse to mention the humorous depiction (found at Acts of the Apostasy) of Patheos as the Borg of religious blogging. When someone looks carefully at the posts by and interactions between the various viewpoints on Patheos blogs – pagan, conservative Christian, liberal Christian, atheist, and whatever else – we have been connected here at Patheos. We have not been assimilated. We continue to disagree and discuss, and hopefully to illustrate in our doing so how it is possible to be direct and even forceful while also being respectful. But even when we fall short of that standard, we are connected, and remain so, hopefully illustrating that even if our disagreements or rhetoric gets a bit heated, the appropriate response is not to isolate ourselves into separate cliques.