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Going Home and Online Safety

I've been a Twitter user for more than 10 years, joining in mid-2008. I've never gotten into real heated arguments or had much trouble with "trolls," although I've certainly seen their work on others' tweets and threads. I mostly post innocuous stuff and even when I'm upset it's vague or about something offline most often. Retweets don't usually get hate spewed back to the retweeter.

I had a weird experience this week in that I retweeted a post with a comment. It was a request for female clergy and their allies to retweet their support and that women pastors should not "go home," as a powerful white man (or men?) has recently said. My comment with the tweet was "A woman's place is in the pulpit."

A man I don't know commented back about "the Bible says" women are only allowed to teach younger women and never in a church so #GoHome. Kind of hilarious, as I am a homemaker/stay-at-home mom basically doing what he advises. But I'll be damned that people still think this ... and even crazier that you'd go find a stranger's tweet to tell them your (incorrect) scriptural interpretation in such an ugly way.

I just blocked, because I don't want to deal with it. I did reply to another person who tweeted in support (something like "you're answering the call to preach") but deleted it because I worried the troll might see it and pounce more. My drafted/deleted response was about how I'm NOT a pastor, but a UMC laity formed by the work of women responding to God's call on their lives to be pastors and preachers. That work began when I was a tween (before tween was a thing though!), and I have always known God could use women and their gifts everywhere including in the pulpit!

WHY DO PEOPLE WHO CLAIM TO BE CHRISTIAN WANT TO LIMIT GOD?

(I have preached one sermon in my life, when I was about 12 I think, as part of a youth group organized by our pastor's husband. Maybe five people in the audience at the time - LOL.)

So I've stewed a bit about it today, just aggravated because women have made great strides in general but there's still so much bullshit and patriarchy to wade through even among those who claim God.

I worry some about my safety -- have I revealed too much of who I am being lulled into the idea that I'm a non-controversial person so no one would ever bother me? But it would not be hard to piece together where my children go to school or even where we live (as a homeowner some of that info is public record if you know where to look #journalism). I've written so much over the years, and just before no one has ever really read it doesn't mean no one ever will I guess. My kids' safety is paramount, but neither do I want to be silenced.

It's also not my responsibility to enlighten the trolls or make sure everyone thinks correctly or believes what I believe. That's too big of a job anyway! I don't want to shirk responsibility by saying "that's too much" because everything really is too much. I want to be a conduit for good somehow.

I know that women belong as pastors. That is good. And I know that LGBTQ+ persons belong as pastors. That, too, is good.

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