Tuesday, March 1, 2011

An Honest Conversation: Episode Three

One of the things that drives me most bonkers in life is when people offer fake apologies.  By that I don't mean apologies that have the right words, but the wrong heart, the kind you used to offer to your sister as a kid in response to your parent's threat of grounding.  Rather, I mean the kind of fake apology that is actually used as another opportunity to insult your opponent.  "I'm sorry you were offended by what I said.  I should have realized that you have the IQ of a brain damaged koala and I should have known better than to engage in discourse with you.  For this, I am truly regretful."  That kind of apology.  We're all familiar with it.

Of course, the Fake Apology has a close relative, a less famous cousin who often shows up whenever people try to debate.  This less famous cousin is the Fake Promise.  Operating on the same principle, the Fake Promise presents itself as a genuine pledge of improved behavior, but is really just another excuse to insult your opponent.  "I promise not to let you drag me into the gutter with you anymore."  That kind of thing.

So, when it comes to debate in the world of Lutheranism, there are certainly good, right and salutary promises of changed behavior that would help us improve the efficacy of our conversations.  These, however, are not those promises.  Enjoy:

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