Thursday, February 10, 2005

Fallout

Thank you all for your well thought-out contributions to the discussion surrounding my artice. As you can imagine, the blog has been but one forum of exchange. My e-mail inbox has been similarly inundated with messages from readers.

A little background: the article that's published online differs slightly from the one that appears in the paper. In the paper version, there's a little tagline below each column: Carmi Levy (carmilevy AT msn DOT com) is a London freelance writer. His column appears every other Wednesday.

I introduced the e-mail address because I wanted to add another dimension to the dialog that sometimes spills out of my columns - particularly the ones that touch deep nerves and incent people who otherwise wouldn't jump into the discussion to do precisely that. My goal is not to get people to agree with me. It is to reach people. Any feedback is good feedback, since typically even the person who vehemently disagrees with me was touched by my words in some way.

This article resulted in an unprecedented torrent of e-mail from readers from all sides of the spectrum. Some of the messages were amazingly warm and supportive. Others were from clergy who had a somewhat different view. Still others were from people involved in the gay-lesbian community who understood full well what it's like to live on the receiving end of hatred. And then there were the zealots. Even while spewing bile into their keyboards, they managed to validate the original rationale for the column.

I'm still snowed under with words, and I'd like to digest them before I do anything with them. My goal is to post some examples for you later this week, just to give you a flavor of what's out there. In the meantime, please keep your thoughts coming. Pro, con, whatever: I love to hear back from all of you.

7 comments:

Dean said...

I've been planning to comment on the original post, but I haven't had the time to do the subject justice. Maybe tonight. :)

I look forward to the samples. I suspect that it will make for some interesting reading.

Wheelson said...

MSN? I mean yea, cool man, but you know, if you'd like to try gmail I can hook you up. No pressure it's just that gmail is so nice if I weren't using Outlook and Thunderbird for work and personal already I'd be all over gmail. Rumor has it that Thunderbird will incorporate features like the virtual folders that makes gmail so cool.

Anyway, people like you who have the courage to speak their mind in the face of zealots for the benefit of us all are true heroes among us. It's easy for me to read about you getting hate mail, but I can only imagine how stressful and hard that must be.

EJ said...

I've already commented on the article itself and of course added my own two cents to the discussion. But I must thank you for such a well thought out article and for having the courage to not only write it, stand behind but to also encourage everyone to share their feelings about it. Great work.

Chris Rachael Oseland said...

You're spot-on, Carmi. Some shallow people need someone to hate, and since it's politically incorrect to hate Jews, Catholics, Blacks, Japanese, Native Americans, or however far back in North American history you want to go, now Gays get center stage attention. It's really a sad statement about (fundamentalist) Christian clergy that they only seem content when they are persecuting a group. It doesn't matter which group, as long as they git thier persecutin' on.

It never results in a good discussion, but I've always felt that if the point of Christianity was the discard the old testament for the sake of the new (otherwise why are all those good Christians eating pork and working on Saturday?), then how come all the arguments about homosexuality being wrong are from Leviticus? After all, Jesus explicitly said you don't need to worry about kosher, don't need to keep the same sabbath, etc. I've done some reading, and Jesus never said one word about homosexuality one way or the other.

If you're an Orthodox Jew, your bible has a few words to say on the issue. If you're any denomination of Christian, "biblical" protests against homosexuality are hypocritical unless you also seperate from you wife during menstruation, refuse to eat pork or shellfish, and, well, read the book of Leviticus and get back to us.

Thanks for taking the flack. The more gentle but persuasive arguments these people read, the better. Maybe enough critical mass will help the logic soak in.

Diva said...

I am sure your article has made many people (on both sides and who may be neutral) consider what the real issues are in this argument. Thank you so much for publishing this. The general public needs to be reminded that the masses tend to lose objectivity on subjects such as this. As a group, the public has too much cultural baggage. Thank you for making such a valid argument and presenting a clear, consise, and well-thought out statement.

Carmi said...

Thanks, everyone. Great discussion here!

Wheelson: I use carmilevy AT msn DOT com as a public-facing address. I invite readers to use it to share their thoughts with me. I DO have a couple of gmail accounts that I use for my primary messaging. I generally do not give those out, for obvious reasons.

And my total # of available gmail invites keeps being reset back to 50. So try as I may, I think I'm stuck with 'em forever. Sigh.

Diva: Thank you for your encouragement - now and always. It's voices like yours that give me the courage to write like this in the first place. Otherwise, I would probably just chicken out and avoid the harder topics.

Wheelson said...

I figured you'd be all over the gmail by now. I have an MSN (well, hotmail) account that I use as a "whipping boy" account as well.

I always find it funny when someone innocently asks "Oh you have two email addresses?" If they only knew how many email addresses super geeks really have.