This has been on my mind for a while now, but it took a private email from a friend to nudge me into saying something about it. Since it's something I do on my blog, it makes sense to address it here too. I think the saying goes "I broke it in public, so I gotta fix it in public."
For some time now, whenever I write about Christianity, I've been doing so with a small "c," while capitalizing the names of other faiths. I've been doing it for a while now. I don't remember when or how it got started. It may have been intentional the first couple of times, but I kept doing it after I became aware of it and at that point it became intentional.
Well, from now I'm I'm not going to do that anymore. It's wrong, antagonistic, non-constructive, small, and petty of me to do that. It probably stems from some personal issues with religion in general and Christianity in particular, that I've mentioned before. But that doesn't excuse it. In fact, that makes it worse because it's insulting, dismissive, hurtful, and frustrating to people who are sincere in their beliefs, and who have nothing to do with my personal history.
Beyond that, it smacks of painting all Christians with the same brush as my intended targets (far-right, fundamentalist, theocrats, etc.), when there are progressive Christians who don't fall into that category. It hypocritical of me to do that when I wouldn't appreciate someone doing the same to me as an African American or a gay man.
It also makes it hard for me to engage in a discussion about religion — which is something I still intend to do, because it's an issue that's inextricably intertwined with politics, and because it's a subject I'm still trying to come to terms with on a personal level — because it overshadows or otherwise overpowers anything legitimate I might have to say about the subject. That's something I'll probably be doing for a long time. From now on, I want to try to do it in a way that isn't hurtful to others.
And finally, it goes against what I claim or at least aspire to practice in terms of right speech. And, yes, there are certainly other aspects of my blogging in which I'd do well to be mindful of that principle.
That said, I want to apologize both for the practice I mentioned above and to anyone who was frustrated or in any way hurt by it. I'll definitely continue blogging about religion as it intersects with political issues I'm concerned with. While I haven't changed my mind on the subject, or my beliefs, I hope that I can at least contribute something positive to the dialogue from here on out.