There have been many times in my church career when opening my big mouth has led to my departure. The first time I was naive and challenged something thinking that someone would care. The next time I was less naive but still nervous that I wouldn’t be heard. The next time after that I absolutely knew that opening my mouth about an issue would lead to my dismissal.
It had even been suggested to me that I should run all my thoughts and cartoons and writing through my superiors before publishing them.
I hate gag orders both real and implied. On one dismissal I was actually told to sign a gag order in order to receive not only a severance package but the rest of my pay that was owed me. I refused to sign. Call it stubborn. Call it stupid. But I walked away free. I hear from people every day who have done the same thing. It’s more common than we know because once you’re outside the system you can lose the venue where they can be heard. Unless you start a blog or something.
There are times in our lives when we absolutely know that taking the risk and opening our big mouths is going to cost us something. Certainly we know it is going to upset the order of things. Things will change. Maybe not the thing your challenging but your association with it and its association with you.
I was just talking to someone the other day who misses church. But he can’t bring himself to go because he said he has to compromise too much, he has to concede too much, he has to effectively shut off the largest part of who he is. And he’s not willing to make that deal.
The woman in this cartoon… her partner doesn’t realize that her big mouth is attached to a big mind. He would rather play by the rules so he can continue playing the game. She’d rather not. They have some talking to do.
If you can find a place where you don’t have to play the gag game, then I celebrate that with you. If you can’t, then simply admit it and find a way to move on from there.