Are there ethics in blogging? I’m sure there are, though probably not stated anywhere, or in any formal document. Hugh Hewitt talks about the various issues regarding blogging, and he discusses these things on his show, his blog, and in his book BLOG.
Why do I bring this up? Because the issue of what is PC, appropriate, etc, has come up a lot recently. This issue is mainly in regards to types of humor, some of the language used, etc., that is found in some blogs. I mean, one could hit a number of blogging sites within a matter of minutes, going from one extreme to the next. You may find yourself on the site of a pastor (which I am), where the language is clean, most things are PC in some circles, and the only really “edgey” topics that are covered are those usually relating to certain sermon topics I preach on such as sex. Mention sex, and your blog traffic really increases…trust me. Or you may find yourself on some political or advocate site, or some student, and the language may tend to be more off color, sexual in nature, etc. You may also find a lot of innuendos and inside jokes that are often lost if one is not friends with the blogger. This can create a lot of confusion in the interpretation process.
So what do you do about bloggers in your community who have great material, but tend to be more off color, etc.? I’m asking this in terms of a pastor who is linking people. My own thought is that every reader takes responsibility for what they click on and read. But that doesn’t mean I don’t screen some things. Sometimes I will link people where I might not like some of the off color content, and others I will stay away from if the content is too off color for someone like me who is in a position of ministry, and employed by a church.
Well, I tend to go ahead and link all the bloggers in my community because they are great people, and we function and live our lives together in this community. I don’t bring this up because I have found something innappropriate, but rather, because I have heard a couple of students say that they felt pressure to clean some things up a little when I linked them on my blog. And when I say clean up….we are talking about nothing severe, but the inside, un PC humor that flows back and forth between friends. Not some raunch fest.
But sometimes I wonder if we sanitize a lot of things in the church for our people, afraid that if we don’t protect them, they will fall into the traps of Satan and culture. Now I’m not saying we don’t provide wisdom and counsel, but rather, this fear even keeps us from talking about serious issues in our church such as sex, drugs, death, genocide, etc. We want to make sure we clean things up and hand over the PG version.
So I hope my students who read this know that we can be truthful with one another. I will be honest with them, and them with me. That in our ministry we won’t sugarcoat or sanitize the struggles of life from each other, but we will continue to give good wisdom, guidance and discernment, daily seeking it from the Lord. And sometimes we will clean up some things in order to protect people from struggling.
What brought all this rambling, and tangent up? I read perhaps, one of the funniest blog entries that I have ever read in my life. But I’m trying to decided if I will post this particular one today. I think it has great insight, and wonderful humor, though a tad off color. The funny thing is, I will send it to my friends, but I somehow find myself in a weird position since I am in leadership of a college ministry, and how I act, what I say, and what I link, somehow will be judged on whether or not I am an effective pastor, and seriously following the Lord.
Hmmmmmm….what to do? Am I just way off in left-field today, or does this make sense to anyone?