What a mess (I of II)

It would be impossible for me to count all the times I’ve heard a soloist get up to sing a “special” at church and preface the performance with something to this effect: “I just wanna be a blessing” and “pray for me as I sing this song” and “I hope the words touch your heart” and so on. Of course I’m sure in part people really mean these things, but they often also mean “don’t blame me if it’s bad.” There’s a version of this tendency at work in sg (on the message boards, in the Singing News, and “out there” generally) -any criticism of how sg “news” is currently covered is met with an attitude of: “Well, I tried my best for the Lord, so any attack on me is an attack on the Lord and the Lord’s work. I’m essentially indemnified against criticism.” When this posture doesn’t work, too many people tend to move on to attacks on the person, rather than engaging in an honest attempt to argue the merits of the idea (a problem I’ve mentioned before). This is pretty much what DeeAnn Bailey (and, in a slightly different setting, Susan Unthank) argued about the content of this site on the sogospelnews message boards (I would link to Unthanks’ comments but the thread is “out of date or broken,” at least for me). To paraphrase, it goes something like this: “Well this person is saying controversial things anonymously (among them, that there ought to be more openness in sg) so I think that makes him a hypocrite and I can disregard everything a hypocrite says.” No attempt to argue the merits of my argument for openness and increased professionalism in sg news, no effort to see if the charge of hypocrisy really holds up (for instance, does openness as Unthank and Bailey are using the term - to mean essentially “tell us who you are” - mean the same thing as my call for transparency in performers’ relations with fans?). Instead, only bald insinuations of hypocrisy and a ready dismissal of almost everything I’ve written. It’s not just lame. At best it’s a professional cop-out. At worst, it’s intellectually dishonest.

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