Engaging the Powers in Online Religious Discussion



Comments (2)

Comment Feed

Firmly and Courteously Engaging the Powers

Fine article by Jeremy Smith. My own rules of engagement on the Internet are: Be firm, be accurate, be courteous, and if appropriate, be humorous. Be firm, because bullies exist online and the relative anonymity gives them more license to be rude. As Nancy Smith implied, women are often socialized to be "nice" and to think that if we're shot down, it must be our fault. The Powers are part of our patriarchal culture, after all, and both women and men have one foot in patriarchy whether we like it or not. Be accurate, because for me to be asked for my sources is always a fair request. I want people to be able to evaluate where my information comes from. Be courteous, because everyone deserves to be respected as a human being. Just because someone might be abusive to me doesn't mean I have to respond similarly. And be humorous if possible, because humor can indirectly but powerfully make a point, plus it takes the edge off. I particularly liked the line "Be the person you want to converse with." I seem to remember something in the Bible about loving our neighbors as ourselves. If my Internet discussions as well as my offline discussions reflect love of both others and myself, it's all good.

Ann Locasio more than 7 years ago

Engaging the Powers

"determining the rules of discourse is a power strategy for people to craft discourse to their advantage." Thank you for this observation! I have been a recipient of this. I am intelligent, a seminary graduate, but not up-to-date on all the vocabulary, but less the rules of engagement, so whenever I dare to enter a discussion I am quickly shot down and not sure why. Oh yes, and I'm also female so I'm not sure just where the rules of engagement are decided upon! What I'm saying, Jeremy, is that this article does a lot to help me understand why I seem unable to stand up and speak my mind with confidence as well as respect.

Nancy R. Smith more than 7 years ago