For an audience the size of mine (not very big), I get a lot of emails from people who are very mad about how I portray disciples of our president and the party that has welcomed him with open arms.
To be fair to almost half of the people in this country, it has been a tough decade for republicans. First, they had to endure two entire terms of an extremely popular black president as he saved the economy and maintained relative peace in the world, then they had to pretend that they weren’t okay with all the racist stuff that Trump was saying and doing through the entire primary season and right up until voting for him for president. Now, even though their guys control the executive branch and the powerful half of the legislative branches of government, while working hard to also stack the judicial branch with conservatives and general bad guys, they’re still upset about how biased everything is against them.
After writing last week that “Some of these folks have such malignant self-inflicted brain damage that they can’t consider for a minute that anything outside of their own narrow Breitbart talking points might be even remotely true.” I got a few nice emails from people who I’m assuming found that line to be a little aggressive.
I’m willing to accept that Kristi was well-intentioned in telling me how dumb I am, maybe this was even the PG version of what she actually wanted to say to me. Either way, I appreciate every email that I get because instead of just not reading my stuff some people go out of their way to let me know that they’re not going to read my stuff. It’s pretty neat.
Another one of my favorites was a comment that I received after writing about how the charge of protecting unborn babies has allowed the GOP to do substantial damage to our way of life, and has actually led to massive born baby (actual alive persons) death by way of mass shootings and depletion of social programs. If I remember correctly, I said something about a redneck in tactical gear mowing down children in the El Paso Walmart. There was probably plenty to be upset about in that particular post but it seems the primary thing that got people fired up was describing gun folks as rednecks in tactical gear. Pretty weird that an angry white guy can drive 10 hours from his home in Allen, TX to El Paso to kill 24 people at what is locally known as the “Mexican Walmart” and there are people online defending his right to bear arms and not be called a redneck. How depleted of human decency does your brain have to be to think “this fucking guy said what about the El Paso shooter?!” and set out to correct the record on him not being a redneck.
I can’t seem to stop writing about Christian faith and the historical contexts that are so frequently ignored by those who practice it, and as such I wrote about the recent transformation of Kanye West into a “devout” man of God. This particular piece was shared a lot and got enough traffic to temporarily down my site. It was a very flattering day but understandably it made some folks a little testy as they had finally secured a popular rapper as an advocate for all of their beliefs that are usually seen as antithetical to what most popular (non-billionaire) rappers believe.
And finally there is Jules, a lady so upset by something that I said that she set out to actually try to hurt me. I take my position as a dad very seriously and actually started doing this as a way to cope with the anxiety I carry about how I’m bringing my children up in this world, but Jules seems to think that I have instead tried to weaponize my pain to hurt other people through my (sad excuse for) writing.
To be perfectly honest, this one got to me a little. I sent it to a few people I trust to ask if this is how my writing actually comes across and was assured that it (probably) isn’t. I am a pretty firm believer in the idea, though, that if someone believes something about you to be true it’s because you did something to enable them to feel that way. Based on that, I started to reread many of my older pieces to see what she might have read to make her enraged enough to try to put me in the ground like this and best I can figure the answer is… all of it? I’m not particularly interested in protecting the feelings of people who espouse political and ethical beliefs that threaten the future of my children or their ability to be safe at school or grow up in a country that makes decisions based on good science instead of a fear of educated secularism, though, so that’s that I suppose.
Another thing about Jules, based on the stats of my site at the time that she sent her email, she read approximately 12 of my posts. Sounds like somebody has a little crush. Respond to my email Jules, I’d love to buy you a cup of Christian coffee and learn a little more about how to be a better dad.
The primary goal of this will continue to be processing my own purpose and ability to thrive in the environments that I have created for myself and my kids. The fact that anyone feels passionately enough about what I’ve written to react positively (these exist too!) or negatively is very flattering and I will continue to reply to every email or comment that I get.
Thanks for reading and letting me explore life and discourse in this way, I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am.