When I think of profiling or stereotyping I usually think of the racial type. I am thankful to have never encountered the significant consequences of being profiled. My experience consists of being the only Caucasian boy on a baseball team made up of all Hispanic boys; they gave me the nickname “white boy”.
Today however, I discovered that I had been profiled based on my religious beliefs. I received a message from a fellow dad blogger saying that he owed me an apology. He had read my twitter profile beginning with “I am a follower of Christ” and instantly wrote me “off” based on his previous assumptions about Christians. He went to my blog and discovered that most of my posts began by quoting a bible passage. This was more evidence in his mind that I fit the profile he was thinking of.
I am not exactly sure what assumptions were made about me based on those words, “I am a follower of Christ”, but I spent the day wondering about it. I wonder if he expected my blog to be full of articles railing against homosexuality, gun control, and President Obama? I wonder if he expected to read about the evils of abortion, or a call to boycott some movie, company, or product? I wonder if he expected my blog to feel argumentative, judgmental, condescending, or arrogant? Maybe he just didn’t want to read about how good God is when there is so much crap going on in the world.
To my delight, this dad blogger has written a post telling the story of how after his initial visit to my blog he had a separate conversation that provided him with increased insight regarding his profiling of Christians. Following this exchange he returned to my blog for a second look and wrote this about his experience;
“I went back to that first blog. This time, rather than flee at the sight of scripture, I stayed a while and read his last three posts. Turns out, he’s just a guy trying to live a good life. That life, for him, is rooted in his faith. His posts may play off of the selected bible verses that precede them, but mostly he just writes about being a dad.”
I really appreciate that this blogger took the time to get to know me. He spent time listening rather than talking and made a true effort to understand my perspective. He discovered that I was not what he thought I was. Through my writing he was able to discover the true picture of who I am. I am just a guy living a life rooted in faith trying to be a dad.
I fully believe that a posture of listening, understanding, respecting, and loving could change our society. When we truly get to know someone we begin to realize that they are a unique individual separate from assumptions based on labels and appearances. Thank you dad blogger friend for beginning a dialogue and moving beyond your previously held assumptions.