Off The Record

I have been reading the posts from the anonymous UU seminarian, and the many comments that have come in.

I wish people who claim that "we" can't deal with "anonymous" statements could see themselves from afar. It's such a transparent avoidance technique and misdirection. The article has no specific criticisms of specific individuals. There is no healthy person to person alternative.

I myself, don't think that anonymity is warranted. I have not seen overt retribution and retaliation in the process that the author thinks is present. But sitting where I sit, there is a lot that I don't see.

How would you deal with this criticism differently if it were not anonymous? Well, you would know who is making the criticism, and you could offer them pastoral attention. But why assume that they need it from you? And you could evaluate the criticism based on who is making it...

Anonymity negates one defense against criticisms of the formation process: that the critic is angry at the system because they are being deservedly weeded out. After all, the system rejects some people, and of course, those people are angry about it. Criticizing the process can, in itself, become evidence that one is not measuring up to its demands.

I know that because I have thought that myself about people critical of the MFC, or the seminaries, or other aspects of the formation process.

We can't write off an anonymous critic so easily.

I stand by my decision to publish these postings on the basis of anonymity.


  1. Clyde Grubbs10:02 PM

    Exactly. The blogger did not justify anoymomity, save as a tactic.

  2. Tom, I personally resent your lumping all those who took issue with the anonymous nature of the post into one "transparently avoiding," category. It feels to me as if you and others are also guilty of not reading further once you see the opinion that anonymous is an issue for some of us. I was not disregarding or criticizing the content of the post. My point was and is concerns my opinion that alliances cannot be forced with "anonymous," and strategies to move forward positively cannot be planned with "anonymous." I have in the past been the identifier of the elephant in the room at the encouragement of "anonymous," and all it got me was the realization that there was no courage or real boldness backing up "anonymous's" concerns when the heat was on. Bev Waring


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