This post comes out of a commitment I made to myself shortly after I started this blog. But to understand why, I need to tell you the beginning.
I had sought to publish some short articles through Mennonite publications, but the lists of prerequisites of what is and is not okay to put in said articles was discouraging. In addition, in telling true stories about ourselves, we run the risk of threatening someone else’s privacy. Blogging looked attractive in that no one had to know me or the people I was writing about to appreciate my writing. I wondered if people who didn’t know me could actually find me interesting to read.
I also wondered if someone of my sub-culture (Conservative Mennonite) had anything to offer the world at large. There’s all kinds of hype about the Amish and Mennonites, and I wanted people to read what I wrote for what it was, not because I am Mennonite.
This does not mean I am ashamed of being Mennonite. (I’ll write more about it as time goes along.) However, as shaping as being a Mennonite is, it does not define who I am. I also want people from other cultures to realize that we Mennonites are human and we are Christian and quite dreadfully ordinary.
So, why come out and say now that I’m Mennonite? Frankly, not saying it has been tricky, but the real reason is because of that commitment I referred to earlier.
When I have 100 wordpress followers, I will publish an article entitled “Yes, I’m Mennonite, and Why That’s Not the Point.”
Yesterday, I got my 100th WordPress follower. Why WordPress followers? Initially, I didn’t tell any of my family or friends about this blog, which means the original followers were random people who found me via being bloggers themselves but were not Mennonite or even Christian in some cases. Presently, around 10% of the one hundred WordPress followers are Mennonites. People I know tend to follow me via e-mail or just check in every now and then.
So, essentially, having 100 WordPress followers that are mostly not Mennonite means that I do have something to say to those who are not of my sub-culture or even religious belief.
To be Mennonite means I identify with other Mennonites, and this is usually a benefit. However, whatever we believe, whatever culture we come from, we are human and as such, we have something to say to each other. In publishing as a Mennonite, I don’t want my religious culture to be the focus of the blog. I am first a Christian and a writer.
That’s why being Mennonite just isn’t “the point.”