I took a minute after work today to hastily write a letter to A&E in the wake of the Duck Dynasty stuff. It may not be what you expect… Instead of writing an ‘Open Letter’ to share with the masses but not directly with anyone, I sent a literal email to A&E and this is the text of said email.
I realize you’re probably sifting through pages and pages of angry emails. I’m sure there will be physical letters arriving today or tomorrow. There are so many, I imagine this may not even be read by a human.
Some letters will have merit. They will be straight up feedback, clear in content and gentle in tone. I’m sorry those will probably be a small minority among the feedback you receive.
I’m sure many will be angry, even threatening letters. I’m sure there will be a lot of “That’s what’s wrong with this country.” Some will invoke God’s judgement, others will personally assault your character. I’m sure I can’t even imagine the flood of vitriol coming your way.
And I want to say to you- I’m sorry. To you, the individual reading this, I’m sorry. Having worked in several roles requiring customer service, I know it’s not supposed to be personal, but you can’t take in that much negativity without it affecting you somewhat (I’ve gotten pretty bummed just scrolling through facebook and reading the stuff). I hope by having someone speak through that with a little understanding, your day might be brightened a little. Bottom line is, you’re a person of unlimited value in God’s eyes and we need to be reminded of that every day because nearly every other voice around us tells us the opposite.
I’m also sorry that you’re getting a one-sided message from Christians. Sure, some people are just angry and it has nothing to do with religion, but I bet the most angry people call themselves Christians. Regardless of your faith, it must be hard to take that in and then consider claims that God is loving and all the other stuff we say about him. You’re getting shrapnel from culture wars that have gone on too long. I could say a lot about Constantine and Pat Robertson (no relation to Phil?) and the centuries of privilege in between but I’ll spare you the details. Long story short, Christianity as the cultural norm is on its way out and this scares people. Scared people either shrink back or lash out. You’re hearing the ones lashing out.
I have my personal thoughts about the decision but since it’s such a minor issue, I don’t think they’re all that important. Sadly, a lot of people will spend more time worrying about this than the hundreds dead today by actual religious persecution in Nigeria. We lack perspective and compassion, as I imagine you’re experiencing. For that, I say again, I’m sorry.
I hope your holiday of choice brings some joy and light so you can spread it to others and reverse some of this craziness. May God bless you.
Grace & Peace,