I really enjoy the interactive quality of my newspaper column. Sometimes I'll hear from tons of people; other times from next to nobody. Once in a while everyone agrees with what I say; on other occasions it's hate-mail with a vengeance. Then there are the columns that generate views that are all over the map.
I've been labeled conservative and liberal for the same piece of writing! Once I received an angry email complaining that Christians should keep their mouths shut "because of the separation of church and state" - not exactly an intelligent or well researched response.
My most popular column to date remains the piece I wrote after my faithful dog, Mozart, died in 2005. I still get requests for copies.
Yesterday's column (about violence against children) was well-received by most readers, and served to remind me that my role as a writer is not simply that of asking good questions. It's Okay to point people toward potential answers too. The secret is not to bludgeon the public with my opinion so much as to offer a reasonable perspective and invite further reflection.
My experience is always that a faith-perspective offers more clarity. Why? Because - as Jesus said - "You will know the truth and the truth will make you free." There is great freedom in the spiritual journey. Those who say otherwise have encountered nothing more than religion.
Worth thinking about - DEREK