I really appreciate the consideration and conversation here about anonymity and pseudonyms. When the topic was broached on SOS last week, my first reaction was that it didn’t matter and we should deal with the message, not the messenger.
But in my gut I never cared for anonymous sources. I had a friend in college who wrote the school president regarding an issue that had rocked the student body. He wrote anonymously. He was worried about repercussions. I told him he should sign it if he wanted to be taken seriously. Deep down I knew he should stand up and be a man about it.
I knew my dad would never write anonymously. If it was worth saying, it was worth signing. If it was worth saying it was worth suffering for. Even Shakespeare knew a coward dies a thousand deaths while the valiant taste of death but once. Those were the good old days before the internet and my conviction regarding anonymity has waned. This has, I guess, been a tough week for SOS and Sanityville, but a good week - I think - overall.
I agree that there are considerations on what exactly is appropriate to say in an internet era when there is so much apparent anonymity. It’s an era when anonymous accusations are going to be leveled against good men, an era when we know that what we say is going to be taken out of context, on purpose, by people who care not a whit for the truth and just want to take a good man down. My good friend Toby Jennings was run out of GCU because of his statements on Black Lives Matter. His wording could have been better, but in context what he was NOT saying was obvious. But evil has always hated good, that’s what makes it evil. And yet…
And yet, as a song once said , “like the Three-In-One, know you must become what you want to say.” In my gut I care little about the message if I don’t know the source to be a good man (a principle that makes me leery of the song I just quoted). Christ did not maintain anonymity. He did not take shots at the Pharisees and the Saducees by penning anonymous letters to the Jerusalem Post. He stood up like a man with his shoulders back and said what he had to say.
For me, I’ve rarely sought anonymity but I’ve often held my words back in cowardly fear of repercussions, meanwhile watching others do the same thing and make a mess as they do so. I’m sure a lot of otherwise good men held their words back in the Jim Crow south. I’m sure it happened in early 30s Germany. I’m sure the list here is long. I wonder how many silent disagree-ers there were when Aaron molded the golden calf.
Anyway, I’ve appreciated the conversation. I’ve benefited from it. I’ve appreciated @jacob.mentzel and the the other men who have spoken the way they have, for exercising a courage that’s rarely seen among men in our society. Thanks guys, for following Christ and becoming your message. Reminds me of that poem, ‘Windows’ (I think) by George Herbert.