About the pseudonym
From the very beginning, I have struggled with the concept of writing under a pseudonym. Some friends have (rightly) pointed out that people are less apt to interact with someone who writes, strictly, under pseudonym. I was even reminded of this recently, during a conversation I struck up with someone over email. They didn’t want to talk to me, without having my real name.
I should qualify a few things..
First, let me say that I understand completely if folks don’t want to talk to someone who won’t give them their real name. There’s no getting around it – it’s kind of creepy.
Second, let me say as well that I understand that it’s a trust issue as well. I am not trusting the world with my real identity, so why should they trust me with something as simple as passing the time of day, when I won’t provide them with something they give freely?
In spite of those things, and in spite of the fact that I’m a little uncomfortable working under a pseudonym myself, I feel strongly that I still need to do so.
Good question. Here’s one answer: A few years ago, I got into contact with a rector who had started up his own “Windsor Fellowship,” as he called it. The purpose of the fellowship was to educate the laity and clergy in his diocese about the Windsor Report, and how the Episcopal Church was simultaneously spitting in the face of the Anglican Communion, and into the wind. He also emphasized that he valued openness in his organization.
All very well.
About six months after I met with that rector, his revisionist bishop called him and his vestry on the carpet. It seems a few of his parishioners objected to his participation in his Windsor Fellowship, and made a bit of trouble up the chain of command. The bishop ‘listened’ to the rector, and observed that the rector’s parish might be, “a parish in distress.”
(By the way, “parish in distress,” is bishop-speak for “update your resume’ ” )
So, the rector left for greener pastures. He had to.
Folks, this is how bad things have become. Conservative Episcopalians who use their real names are painted targets. If they are intent on staying within TEC and fighting the good fight, then they need to protect their identities, plain and simple.
As for the rest, I’ll chalk it up to lingering concern over the Ring of Gyges dilemma. There is in fact warrant for concern over this type of thing, but in my opinion the potential for corruption is far greater for those in power, as opposed to well, people like me.
To sum up:
It is what it is, and the times are what they are.