A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

On Disclaiming Disclaimers

We all have seen them-- statements reminding readers and listeners that the following comments are the opinions of the persons expressing them only and not of any other persons or organizations the individual is affiliated with. There are bloggers as well who feel the need to let their readers know that their views are not necessarily endorsed by their church or their denomination or anyone else.

I understand why some bloggers feel that it is important to publish disclaimers. I have heard of some blogging pastors who get in trouble because some intellectually insecure parishioner doesn't like a view expressed by the pastor and doesn't want to have to deal with "guilt by association," or they don't want to have a pastor who is "liberal" or "conservative." I am sure there are other scenarios where that kind of thing has happened, so bloggers have to state the obvious in order to enlighten a small handful of their ignorant readers. I get it.

However, I do not have a disclaimer on my blog, and I have several reasons why I will not post one:

First, it should be obvious that my views are my own and are not necessarily endorsed by the congregation I serve as pastor, the seminary where I teach, the denomination in which I serve, and the family I live with who loves me. Nor are my views always the same as my friends, some of whom regularly post comments on this blog in disagreement. Anyone who thinks my views must reflect the views of those with whom I am associated has unresolved issues, and I am not of a mind to enlighten them out of their ignorance.

Second, while I treasure the differing views of others for the sake of discovering the truth and having the significant discussions we must have as people in community, I have no concern what may happen to me because someone doesn't like my doctrine or politics or the positions I take on controversial issues-- and that includes people who have authority over me. I have great respect for those individuals, but if they don't like what I say, they can fire me.

Third, I do not want anyone in the blogosphere hindered when it comes to expressing serious opinions. (I feel the same way about stupid opinions, even though they are not worth consideration.) I regularly read bloggers with whom I consistently disagree. I am glad they are blogging. They help me to think, even when, and especially since I do not agree. I wouldn't have it any other way. They don't need a disclaimer as far as I am concerned, so neither do I.

Fourth, I do not post a disclaimer on this blog because I don't want to and no one is going to make me.

Special Note: The views of this post are not necessarily those of First UMC in Cambridge, Ohio or the United Methodist Church, Ashland Theological Seminary, my family (and the dog I had as a boy), the City of Cambridge, the State of Ohio, the United States of America, North America, the Western Hemisphere, the world, the Milky Way Galaxy, the Universe (just in case there is a Multiverse) and any companies I have previously worked for and anyone whom I have known in my life, but have forgotten about because I haven't seen them in twenty years.


Jill Tackett said...

I can see you, while stating your fourth comment, with your hands on your hips and stomping your foot.

Allan R. Bevere said...

I am quite impressed Jill. You haven't forgotten me!

Angie Van De Merwe said...

This is a REAL and present DANGER in our society today. Not just for academic freedom, but for our liberties. Race, religion and sex are all protected "under law" because of fear of discrimination. "Hate speech" is being touted as the "new discrimnation" that is to be "feared".

I applaud Gert Wilders in the Netherlands, because he is standing for his opinion and free speech, as he is being tried for "hate speech". He called for the Turkish Muslim that killed a Dutch director in the streets in the 90's to testify before the jury!! Good move, I think...which is more hateful?

Allan R. Bevere said...


With all due respect... you are thinking too hard.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

I don't know what you mean, unless you don't see danger in liberty being undermined. I thought this was what you were writing about, in allowing freedom of expression.

Allan R. Bevere said...

Angie, I agree with your comments. I just don't think the fate of the free world hangs on the fact that some bloggers feel they have to post disclaimers.

Robert Cornwall said...

Now Allan, you're just meddling!!!

Allan R. Bevere said...


I can't help myself.