Friday, January 28, 2011

I Don't Like Your Blog!

I was disappointed and saddened by a comment that someone made on my post about Officer David Moore which read something like "I don't agree with what you usually write on here but this was pretty good. Thanks!"

A) I was mostly saddened that someone would use THAT post to convey to me their frustration. If someone has been reading the blog for awhile, why not say something earlier - did you have to go there on that post which was meant to be a tribute to a fallen officer?

B) I was also saddened by the fact that it was such a backhanded compliment. Passive aggression is never a healthy thing. (Also, "John" is what my family and close friends call me. Otherwise my preference is "Fr. Hollowell" because I am partly formed by the love that my family has given me)

C) Here is the main disappointment though, and what I wanted to share with this post. If you disagree with someone, isn't it best to talk about it directly? Isn't the importance of conversation the major lesson we've learned from Tuscon, and the virtue that our president and others have been praising? Why do people no longer talk about issues? Why do people hide behind anonymity on a computer and bring things down?

If I had a disagreement with someone I would tell them. I would first of all say "Hi, my name is..." and then I would work for a way to examine differences. But it is baffling to me that someone would just continue to read the same blog while disagreeing with it but not doing anything about it. Are people who do this LOOKING for a way to make themselves unhappy? Also, what is a blogger supposed to do with "I don't really like your stuff"? That just sits there in cyberspace as a negative statement that can't be addressed by anyone because you haven't even identified what you have a problem with.

If people don't like what they find on a blog they should do one or more of a few honorable things
A) start your own blog and have the bravery to put your thoughts and beliefs out there.
B) quit hiding behind screen names, identify yourself, and start talking in a way that looks for SOLUTIONS.

We HAVE to be a people who look for unity and, when we don't find it, we have to roll up our sleeves, talk to people and engage ideas because that is how change happens...

Or you can continue to read a blog you disagree with and take occasional pot shots at someone who has stepped out of the shadow and dared to enter the ring of engaging public discourse.


  1. Well said, Father Hollowell! :) (BTW, I've wondered what is the best way to address you since I grew up with you at Nativity and always knew you by "John". If I've ever called you by your first name, please don't be offended. Now that I know your preference, I'll call you by the well-deserved title you've worked so hard to earn. I was wondering the same thing about my brother who is studying to become a priest. Do I now call my brother "Father"? ;) I'm guessing based on what you've written on this topic, I can continue to call him Anders.) It's ironic that you should mention how people never want to address their issues with one another. I have a very good friend that I've known for over half my life. She and I have been losing touch due to some things going on in her life and when I finally mustered up the courage it took to address that "elephant in the room", she treated me as if I had no right to question her and completely missed the point- which was that I missed our friendship. I'm so tired of everything having to be so "PC" and people not having the courage to say "Hey, I disagree with something you said. Let's talk about it." If we didn't CARE about those people, we wouldn't waste our energy with the discussion. It's my belief that as long as we can communicate our frustrations and disagreements in a Christ-like manner, we should communicate those issues with the people in our lives who are so important. And apparently your blog IS important to this reader or else they wouldn't continue to read your blog entries. Your tribute to Officer David Moore was very moving. I plan to read it to my husband (Staff Sergeant Frayer, Ft. Wayne ANG). :) Continue to write, Father Hollowell. You have a beautiful gift!

  2. Ali, I don't ever ask someone to call me Fr., but when someone is condescending and offers a backhanded compliment, I will let that person know that I don't particularly appreciate being called "John" in that setting. I'm not worried at all about making sure people "respect my authority" as they say on South Park.

    I think you are right on with the idea of friendship. In a marriage counseling class I took in the seminary I came across the quote that said that the opposite of love is not anger it is apathy. I think, as you said, if we are willing to argue and debate then that shows that we still care enough to put in the energy. When we don't care enough to discuss anymore, that is when a relationship is truly dead.
    Thanks for the sacrifices you make in raising your children and also supporting your husband in his work as a policeman. God bless.

  3. Father Hollowell: Thanks for your blog. I have checked in on it fairly frequently but haven't commented before. Even being a cradle Catholic, I have learned quite a lot about Catholic teaching from your blog - thanks for that. Keep up the good work!

  4. Oh no!

    Forgive me, I know this is old, but I am just now flipping through and reading old posts-I have been referring to you as "Father John." Is that okay or would you prefer me to call you "Father Hollowell?" I am just used to calling priests as Father and their first name.