Remember back in the summer when I was applying to The Canadian Mennonite for the National Correspondent position? Today I’m glad I don’t have that job. I mean, it would be nice to be writing professionally, but I really wouldn’t have fit in over there.
Case in Point: Aiden Enns writes a column for the magazine. He’s the editor of Geez and a generally cool guy. In the 10/15/07 issue of The Canadian Mennonite he wrote this column. Go read it (it’ll open in a new tab) and guess what made me mad about it.
If you don’t feel like checking the whole thing, here’s the money shot:
Take an interfaith approach. If you can’t abide by some of the core Christian affirmations, then you may wish to consider an interfaith approach. I know this is unorthodox, but look for the God that is present everywhere, in all people and, dare I say, in all faiths, including Christianity and your local church. [Note that the church teaches that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world, referencing Acts 4:12: “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name . . . by which we must be saved.” Ed.] Look for glimpses of wonder, love, grace and compassion, you’ll find them.
That editorial interjection was a bit of a turning point for me. I don’t get angry when the magazine covers everything in that earnest oh so well-intentioned way it does with its use of words like “dialoguing.” It’s not supposed to be substantial. In my job interview Tim Miller Dyck told me they get complaints about Aiden’s column just because it mentions Geez’s name. Because it’s blasphemous. Fine. They’re going for the middlest common denominator of the Mennonite world. (That came up in my interview because of my previous writing for Geez.)
But to actually pop into a column about interfaith dialogue with a little “Actually there’s only one right way. We’ve got it. Says so in the bible”? That’s bullshit. Happily, I read the letters in the 11/26 issue and they printed two from people who were also pissed off about it.
I get why whoever was acting as editor on that made that interjection; they didn’t want to piss off the grandmas and the farmers and such (gross overgeneralization there), and it’s not like the young mennonites care what happens in the magazine. We don’t read The Canadian Mennonite. Because who wants to read that kind of pap? Vicious cycle hey ho!
Ah, that’s it. I’m glad I don’t work there because that’s the kind of thing I’d have either gotten vociferous about and had to quit in some big gesture, or done nothing and been all mad at my lack of integrity. But this way I get to be cranky on my blog with no consequence at all.