Cowards and Keyboards

It shouldn’t surprise me anymore when socially awkward and scared people in real life become the boldest person ever behind a keyboard.

It’s their cover for living a real life that actually makes a difference in other people’s lives. They do it because it’s the best, and most efficient way to be gutless without any repercussions. It’s a way to say things that they know they could never, ever say in real life because they don’t have enough dignity and self-worth to do it any other way.

That is why loving people for real is so hard. It has to happen in-person over a significant amount of time.

Anybody can critique from the outside. Have at it… and me.

I’m not opposed to being critiqued. I fully believe in constructive dialogue. In fact, that is what I try to model every day of my life. But it’s another thing to be backstabbed, hated on, blamed, accused, lied about, etc. Don’t publicly ‘accuse first and ask questions later’ and expect me to constructively respond.

Besides not being opposed to constructive criticism, you know what else I’m not opposed to?

Being loved.

And the difference between me and these cowardly keyboard people is that I am actually loved by real people in real life in real time from all different shades of the cultural, sexual and religious spectrum. From the far left to the far right. From gay to straight to post-op transgender to celibate. From rich to homeless. From black to white to asian to Latinos to Native Americans. Why? Because I care enough to love them in-person over the long haul with no strings attached.

At the end of the day the unfortunate reality is that they’ll keep pimping their pretend life while I keep living my real one.

Much love.

www.themarinfoundation.org 

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About Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation (www.themarinfoundation.org). He is author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), its interactive DVD curriculum (2011), and recently an academic ebook titled Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility can Save the Public Square (2013). Andrew is a regular contributor to a variety of media outlets and frequently lectures at universities around the world. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and theological aspects of reconciliation. For twelve years he lived in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, and is currently based St. Andrews, Scotland, where he is teaching and researching at the University of St. Andrews earning his PhD in Constructive Theology with a focus on the Theology of Culture. Andrew's research centers on the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of reconciliation. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can find him elsewhere on Twitter (@Andrew_Marin), Facebook (AndrewMarin01), and Instagram (@andrewmarin1).

  • http://jwalkergs.wordpress.com/ Jason

    You are loved that way. Consider yourself one of the lucky ones and to hell with the rest.

    • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

      I count myself very blessed to indeed have much love in my life. You included.

  • http://apprising.org Ken Silva

    “I fully believe in constructive dialogue.”

    Really? Is that what calling people “cowards” in this post would engender?

    “it’s another thing to be backstabbed, hated on, blamed, accused, lied about, etc.”

    Well, what have you just done to these people whom you don’t name and likely don’t know personally?

    “the difference between me and these cowardly keyboard people is that I am actually loved by real people in real life in real time from all different shades of the cultural, sexual and religious spectrum.”

    Aside from being a bit self-aggrandizing, how do you know these people aren’t also loved by such as well?

    “pimping their pretend life while I keep living my real one.”

    Wow. I’m not seeing “much love” at all in statements like that concerning others in the image of God.

    • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

      Hi Ken,

      Thanks for your concern in these matters.

      Oh, I haven’t yet thanked you for tweeting me on Saturday while I was at the Memphis I’m Sorry Campaign saying that I am “a sad witness for Jesus.” I appreciate your analysis.

      As for this post, I actually do know the 3 people I’m writing about. I know them in-person, in real life. So I am quite accurate in my assessment. As for not naming them, I guess I have more dignity then them as I refuse to name-drop them, like they did me, to drive traffic to the article/post/site. I’ve already emailed them in private. Ever heard of private? You know, in person contact over the interwebs not open to the public so as to constructively discuss disagreements person to person?

      Also, I dedicate the chorus of the following song to you, and really, all others in my life in person or on the world wide web–no matter what is said. You can listen to it from minute 1:47 to minute 2:18…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f1D9kHogq0

      Thanks for writing.

      Much love.

      • http://gdcrumrine.wordpress.com Dan Crumrine

        I hope you do not feel the need to respond to Ken Silva’s posts anymore, no matter what kind of junk he may throw your way. His online reputation speaks for itself and those of us who know it lend him no credence.

  • http://apprising.org Ken Silva

    “saying that I am ‘a sad witness for Jesus.’”

    Your sarcasm aside, I didn’t say “you” personally; my reference was to the program itself.

    It would appear you’re a bit too sensitive; if you really want to have a dialogue, you might wish to drop the condescension.

    Just remember, in Christ some of us love you enough to offer correction.

  • Rachel Sisk

    Ken,
    I think you are missing a key word here. “Constructive” Andrew is welcoming constructive criticism not hateful banter.

    Andrew,
    Andy and I only met you this weekend and we already love you and wholeheartedly support you and are grateful for the love you have been giving and will continue to give!

  • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

    Try not to let them get to you Andrew. There’s always going to be folks on both sides of the issue that don’t get you and unfortunately they’re going to continue misrepresenting you to communicate that understanding gap. I’m glad that you’ve reached out to whomever and hopefully you and they will come to some sort of better understanding, even if you still don’t end up on the same page with each other. (And at the end of the day, you got to get your picture with a rainbow-sporting chicken this past weekend. Who else can make that claim to fame?)

    You’re a peach and always will be. Prayers, bud…

  • http://mjkimpan.com michael j. kimpan

    allow me to PUBLICLY state that i LOVE andrew marin and his work and witness, i LOVE this blog post and i especially LOVE his comment above. much love indeed.

  • Reggie

    Every person in ministry is going to get critiqued. You should talk to some of your alumni friends who have gone into pastoral ministry. It comes with the territory. You have to develop thick skin and complaining about the complaining won’t win you much sympathy or respect. I’m not justifying bad behavior, but those of us who are in leadership need to take those concerns to God, not to those outside our true circle of support. We also need to look for the seeds of truth that can often be found in a hard or harsh critique.

    Self justification is no justification at all.

  • Seth

    Time to get out the Teflon suit!

    The world from behind a keyboard is just as artificial as the world from behind a camera, from in front of a microphone, or even between the covers of a book. Look no further than radio commentators who can say outrageous, damaging, and/or half-true statements–things that can’t be unsaid, but that can boost their ratings (at least until a key advertiser backs out). Similarly, the GOP debates in Las Vegas last night seemed to be full of inflamatory rhetoric–delivered in person, but limited to sound bites that generated audience reaction, and perhaps made it into today’s press reports.

    Most of us find ways to parse the real stuff from the bogus stuff, despite all the efforts made blur them. And we can tell very quickly when someone is congruent–sometimes it’s like a breath of fresh air!

    So, try not to sweat the penny-ante harrassment from your opponents. As Jesus said about the self-important pharisees, “They already have their reward.” They hardly deserve your attention; don’t take their bait. Find the high road and take it instead. I fully understand the urge to correct the record and defend your reputation–Lord knows I’ve done my share of it–but understand that your authentic living speaks for itself.

    Love you!

    Seth

  • Brian

    Ken Silva,

    Don’t you think your schtick has runs it’s course? You’re role of the accuser of the brethren isn’t befitting a believer….that role has been filled already.

    • Bart Wang

      Nicely stated, Brian.

  • http://shenahaiti.org/web rose c

    Well said! There are many cowards who hide behind their keyboards indeed, sometimes I wonder where they come off with these weird and hateful commnets

  • Skandar

    Aren’t you in danger of demonising anyone who disagrees with you and labelling them a “hater” just because they don’t share your vision of things?

    I thought you were trying to elevate the conversation between the Church and the LGBT community. How does the angry and accusatory rant above do that?

    Hurt feelings are all very well, but if the moment it turns personal you lash out at your critics with posts like the one above, all you’re doing is proving that you’re not mature enough to handle the task you’ve appointed for yourself. You ask us to lay aside our animosity towards one another and start talking about what we have in common rather than what separates us. But if every time you’re provoked you fly off the handle and come out with all guns blazing, how can you possibly object when the rest of us follow your example?

    Quite honestly I’m really not impressed by what I’ve seen here. I’d started reading your book but now I’ll continue with this episode very much in mind and take what you say with a very large grain of salt. Elevating the conversation, indeed! About an inch off the playground floor.


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