Today more bloggers have their name attached to their blogs, but it's still not unusual for bloggers to blog anonymously. And this may be particularly true for seminarians, who may be testing out their beliefs or their new ministerial identity, or may just not want their writing easily accessible to the Ministerial Fellowship Committee or a search committee. Back in 2007, when Philocrities last updated his list of UU blogs, there were a number of anonymous blogs among the seminarians (see http://www.philocrites.com/archives/000587.html#seminarians). Six of the seminarians listed among the bloggers then were listed by their full names; nine were listed by first names only or by pseudonyms.
There is a difference, though, between an anonymous blogger and one or two anonymous posts. With a blog, you learn to trust the blogger's voice over time. You begin to know what their take on things will be. When they give a critique, you know if it's coming from some constantly critical or someone largely supportive of the institution. They've built their credibility with you over time, just as an individual you know in person does.
We don't know the credibility level of the anonymous seminarian posted here -- well, maybe Tom does, but I don't, and our readers don't. But in this case, this is not so much the issue. Let's stop discussing the anonymity and start discussing whether what the posts describe is right or wrong, and if right, what should, if anything, be done. As Scott Wells says over at Boy in the Bands:
The value of an anonymous disclosure and complaint is to get the item in public discourse, something that’s easier in the Internet era than ever before. It tests the general merit of the complain, pulls out disputants who don’t wish to be anonymous and flushes out devil’s advocates. And this testing and discourse shows if it’s safe to be more public and candid.Personally, I'm described that the anonymous seminarian felt that what they were saying was so risky and daring that it needed to be anonymous. It sounds a lot like things we've been talking about for years. But the response, on the other hand, argues that maybe anonymity was warranted. Let's prove that wrong, shall we? Can we create a climate where more seminarians feel they can be open in discussing issues? It may be worth trying.