My palms were sweaty. My heart was thumping. My face was looking straight down. I stuttered, “ummed,” and “uhhed” through it all, but when I was done, I felt good about what I’d said.
It was the first time I’d shared my faith with a non-Christian.
Today, I’m less nervous when I share my faith (probably more a function of all the public speaking I’ve done rather than of the times I’ve actually given my testimony), but I still get some jitters. Religion is a profoundly personal thing, and as such, when it comes under criticism (as few things are critiqued as much as religion), we can easily be hurt or offended.
A major goal of this blog is to promote open, safe, and personal discussion about religion. A partial result of the aniblogging and religion survey I conducted was the promotion of this blog as place where individuals could discuss religion in an open, safe, and personal manner. But the survey itself was cold and impersonal. It gave numbers – and numbers hardly ever reflect real people. When someone tells me that thousands died in the Japanese earthquake last week, I’m saddened; but when I hear the personal stories of individuals affected by the earthquake, I’m changed.
As such, I’m taking the survey a step further. Some respondants left their contact information in their survey forms, allowing me to message them and discuss further. I asked some of these respondants (and others I’ve corresponded with) to present mini-testimonies. Every Thursday over the next few weeks (starting next Thursday, March 24), an aniblogger will talk about their personal faith. These posts will be widely varying on topic, not only because of the mix of religions (and non), but also because these posts are fairly open-ended. The only connecting points are anime and religion.
Here’s the roster (I’ve purposely left off their faiths; you can discover them through their own posts):
Lauren, Otaku Journalist (March 24)
R86, Beneath the Tangles (March 31)
Niko, Anime Savvy (April 7)
Arianna, Otaku Life (April 14)
Ed, Manga Out Loud (April 21)
Canne, Canne’s anime review blog (April 28)
Anonymous (May 5)
Annalyn, Annalyn’s Thoughts (May 12)
I hope you’ll read these testimonies and get to know these wonderful bloggers and their faiths (or lack thereof) a little better. And I hope that all of us can be involved in promoting “open, safe, and personal” discourse about that most personal concept – religion.
On another note, if you’re interested in participating, please send me an email (beneaththetangles AT gmail.com). I’m looking for excellent writers who want to discuss their faiths. Just let me know what your belief is and provide me a link to your blog, or if you’re not an aniblogger, a short sample of your writing.
Of course, I also encourage you to discuss religion on your own blog, if you’re so inclined. In that case, please send me an email as well! I’ll link to your post.