I realize that my harsh and direct disagreement
with Institutional Church polices, practices, governance,
and especially theology
places honest thought under pressure.
That’s its point.
Pressure should be intellectually productive;
being forced to look closely at arguments
against a beloved religious position
can help those who hold it
to honestly examine it
and perhaps even move them to abandon it
But pressure also causes pain and fear;
and when those under pressure
find these things difficult to bear,
they’ll sometimes use any means possible
to make the pressure and the pain go away.
They feel unsafe, threatened, put upon,
and so they react by remaining secure
in the darkness of the Church bushel
or attacking the messenger, me,
as heretic and dissenter.
Both moves are common enough,
as is their support for the hierarchical powers that be.
Pewsitter tolerance for intellectual pain is low
as is tolerance for any sort of argument
against what they’ve been told