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Mary & Martha Moment: Do Bloggers Share Too Much? Do We All?

October 20th, 2010 · 51 Comments · Mary and Martha Moments

I’ve never met Molly Wizenberg, but I know when she lost her virginity.

Does that seem odd to anyone else?

I told you on Monday that I’ve really been enjoying reading A Homemade Life, which is basically Molly’s memoirs, penned at the ripe old age of thirty. She is such a gifted writer and a natural cook that one can’t help but be delighted by her tales and caught up in the magic of the recipes woven seamlessly into her life. There was just one little issue that made me uncomfortable, and also got me thinking.

Truly, the fact that a New York Times bestselling book of memoirs includes love life scenes means that millions of people beyond myself know about Molly’s first time “doing it,” how many partners she had, and that she had sex before marriage with her husband. It begs the question: Do bloggers share too much?

In our culture, it has become commonplace to share stories with the world that, fifty years ago, would have been scandalous to share even with your best friend. (Just to be clear, Molly does not write explicitly about experiences, but that they happened would have been scandal enough in past decades.) The Internet has allowed us windows into one another’s lives, and so many of us who write in this medium forget, or don’t care, that it is up to us just how wide those windows are thrown open.    image When it comes to matters of the bedroom, whether under the covers or a quarrel between husband and wife, both intimate situations in different ways, I think we need to hang thicker curtains.

Women certainly have a need to share our stories, and I do believe that we were created with a need for friendship, camaraderie, for others with whom we can discuss the emotional side of life and gain support. Our time in history is like no other in that our support group ranges in the thousands and includes people with whom we don’t actually have a relationship.

Sometimes I find myself wondering if I’ve shared too much online to the exclusion of my friends in real life. My recipe making friend is a good example, as she learned from my blog that my husband got a new job and has been experiencing Crohn’s symptoms lately. It is all too tempting to think of blog readers as a group of friends, and Facebook friends as the inner circle. But when is the inner circle too large?

In A Homemade Life, one chapter in particular gave me food for thought. It’s called “Special Game” and gives insight into Molly Wizenberg’s relationship with her husband, who was her boyfriend at the time:

“Every now and then, Brandon and I like to play a special game. It has no real name, but if I were to give it one, it might be called the “Your Partner Has No Past” game. It goes something like this: whenever one of us mentions a previous boyfriend or girlfriend, the other feigns complete incomprehension.

Molly (breathily): You’re such a good kisser. It’s really amazing, since I was your first kiss.

Brandon: Isn’t it? And you, I have to say, are so good at spooning. It’s kind of crazy how good you are, especially when you’re never done this before.

Quite fun, as you can see. You should really try it, so long as both players are in on the plan. Otherwise, it could get messy.”

I think more than anything else, this story shows how much we all desire to be “the only,” that in some deep place in our soul, it is indelibly written that love should be whole, exclusive, not divided among many lovers over the years. If only more in our culture had the foresight for that before giving heart, soul and body away in premarital sexual relationships. I maintain that it is odd and disordered that so many are so unguarded with their sexual lives, that it is common to share sexual exploits not only with a few close friends, but with anyone. We ought to be surprised and appalled to be brought into someone else’s bedroom. Sadly, all this has lost its shock factor. image

Another trouble with sharing so much with the millions is that one really puts themselves out there for criticism. It is as shocking that I would dare to critique Molly’s sexual past as it is that she would so easily share it.

I feel the need to tread lightly here. I cannot and would not say Molly is a sinner, because to commit a sin one needs full knowledge of wrongdoing and full consent. I don’t claim to know either, and even if I did, I am not called to judge. That, thankfully, is not one of the hats for a mother to wear but is reserved for God Himself.

I do believe I can say that she committed a sinful act by having marital relations outside of marriage, whether she realized it or not, and then shared it without remorse with the world. She’s not the first, nor will she be the last. Her story mirrors many, and I use it only to prove a point or two.

I hate to pick on Molly, because she’s a sweet girl, a fabulous writer and a darn good cook. I feel like I’m friends with her after experiencing so many parts of her life through her autobiographical cookbook (and there’s the rub precisely; why do I feel that way about someone I really know very little about, yet so much at the same time?).

However, she’s also giving us all a window into her bedroom without lowering the blinds or bothering with any more than sheer curtains. Like so many, Molly is a product of a culture that teaches children that it’s okay to seek love through physical intercourse, that relationships are semi-permanent at best, and that what God says is archaic and of little consequence in their lives.

Voracious readers like myself often give themselves over to story, and when I read of two people with as much lovely personality as Molly and Brandon, I can’t help but yearn for what they experience. Dangerous, since what they have is based on cultural images of the truth instead of on the Truth Himself. I consider again the boundaries I must draw in what I allow to enter my life: can reading about sin give the devil a foothold in my own life and dull my spiritual senses to the reality of sin, thus bringing me closer to it myself?

Coincidentally, the Special Game chapter ended with that wonderful fennel and Asian pear salad that everyone at my house loves, which Molly and Brandon share from one plate with another little game consisting of “forks, stealth, and the last bite of salad.” My husband and also romantically shared a plate when I served Molly’s recipe…but the 5-year-old had the last bite.

Is it dangerous to share so much personal information with the masses, or has our culture changed the rules? How do you decide when something is sinful for you to read or watch?

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Photos by Andy Butkaj and David Chief.

Entered in Theology Thursday.

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51 Comments so far ↓

  • Sarah Faith

    Thank you for publicly upholding such an unpopular opinion. You bring up a great point about oversharing, but even more than that, I appreciate your boldness to proclaim your values even though it may anger some readers. Saying the word “sin” in a public forum (not counting in a joking fashion) is quite taboo. Kudos on being unafraid to share your faith!

  • Jolon

    <>

    Nope. I tell the same stories online that I tell to my IRL friends. I’m not guarded or conservative. I have few secrets. I’ll be judged both online and offline by others who have different views. May as well be myself and say what I want to say. That’s what my blog is all about.

    Wendy (The Local Cook) Reply:

    Jolon, just laughing because your last post was “my boob story” LOL

    Jolon Reply:

    haha Hoped someone would catch the irony, but in all seriousness, it’s a breast cancer awareness post. ;)

    Wendy (The Local Cook) Reply:

    I know, it’s a good one too. My grandma died of cancer last year about this time. Not breast cancer though. So that’s been on my mind lately.

    Katie Reply:

    And we love you for it, Jolon! ;) Katie

  • Wendy (The Local Cook)

    Interesting discussion! As Christians we need to walk the balance between knowing that sex is meant for marriage, but IS a gift and not something to be ashamed of or pretend doesn’t exist. And of course as you already pointed out, it is not our place to judge others. With social media and oversharing becoming the norm, I think people are only going to get worse. Is it sinful if I read it? Well, maybe if I go out of my way to find it, but if it comes out in the course of reading something I would finish the book. If it were an ongoing blog I might not keep going back. Not sure if that makes sense.

  • Heather

    This exposing every detail of our lives didn’t start in the bedroom or on blogs. It has been going on for quite some time. While there have been great societal benefits such as exposing abuse, there is also a price that gets paid in lacking privacy.

    Somewhere in sharing we (society) started to cross the line into over sharing. From over sharing we started to expect oversharing. For instance, if I decline an invitation many I know feel entitled to a full explaination as to why I declined. We also feel entitled to share other people’s stories freely. A relative, while claiming to be against gossip, is sure to let everyone know what is going on in my family’s life. At some point shocking was the goal, and since otherwise private stories were already being shared, we had to bring the audience into the bedroom. As will all things, as that became more commonplace the shock wore off. The anonymity of the internet only increases it’s use.

    I value my privacy. I like to limit what information I give others. My relative who shares too much isn’t on my call list much, and I certainly don’t go to her for advice. My husband gets to know everything. My closest friends and family get to know much. The rest of the world, get a very edited view of my life. In return I choose to know only what is important of others. And I always except a simple no thank you without further explaination.

    Katie Reply:

    Heather,
    You make a good point about people feeling they have a right to know why you decline an invite – I do always feel like I should offer my excuse, but a “no” ought to be sufficient, you’re right. :) Katie

  • Shannon

    You mentioned giving the devil a foothold on your life. We also need to be careful about giving him a foothold on our blog. Women do like to talk and need camaraderie, but we have to be careful not to put ourselves in the place of misleading women spiritually.

    I have discovered that women have the sinful tendencies to gossip, lead other women astray, and step into the role of spiritual teacher when we ought not. And I am talking from my own experience as a sinner.

    So statements like “I cannot and would not say Molly is a sinner, because to commit a sin one needs full knowledge of wrongdoing and full consent.” can be dangerous and misleading to other women.

    I just know that I have gone down this path and it never ends well, from one blogger to another.

    Katie Reply:

    Shannon,
    I definitely appreciate your thoughts, but I think I might not be understanding what you’re saying. “full knowledge and full consent” is a Catholic teaching from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, particularly in regards to mortal sin, which also requires grave matter and completely separates one from God until repentance and reconciliation. Maybe we are coming from different faith traditions and thus not on the same page?

    Thanks for clarifying, Katie

    Sandy Munroe Reply:

    Ah that makes sense now. I also didn’t understand that sentence. It felt like you were trying to be “soft” in the manner or down play sin. For me that is a bit of leading astray because from christian to christian we can all say we’re all sinners every single one of us. It is only our relationship with Christ that transforms us and our hearts and hopefully leads us to not sin as much as He keeps changing us.

    Sandy Munroe Reply:

    Oh and love the post!!! I love how you openly talk about things God puts in your hearts. I’ve actually been thinking about privacy, etc. lately as well too.

  • Ann

    I fully support your right to air your opinions and belief systems on your own blog. Of course! That’s why it’s your blog.

    But I don’t think it’s fair of you to hold other people to the standards of behavior that your belief system espouses. Not everyone subscribes to your beliefs. Many people aren’t Christians, or have different understandings of Christianity, so the rules and regulations that you’re speaking of aren’t relevant to them.

    As to your larger point, of course choosing to share intimate details of your life, or choosing to limit yourself to just the good parts, or even using a fake name on Facebook is your decision. Some people seem totally comfortable with sharing everything online AND in person. I’m not, but that’s just me.

    Whatevs. Personally I find Gluten Free Girl (Shauna) is a little too gushy in her blog sharing. So I don’t read it too often.

    Anyway, don’t take this as a personal attack. I really respect the way you follow your beliefs so fully. Just don’t expect everyone to have the same ones.

    Katie Reply:

    Ann,
    Thanks for your respectful comment, truly. It’s tricky believing in absolute truth sometimes, because if someone else doesn’t, you never get much farther than “I don’t agree.” That’s what makes my faith so important to me, though – that I truly believe it is the truth, and the truth for everyone. If there were many roads to God, there would be little reason to follow any rules. I don’t know if that made any sense, but I do think God’s rules are relevant to everyone, because I believe He created everyone…whether they believe in Him or not. Makes it tricky! :) Katie

    Ann Reply:

    It is tricky. I walk this path with my mother, who believes in an absolute truth as well, though not yours, interestingly!

    Thank you for being so civil in your response. Debating matters of deeply held beliefs is dangerous, as I’ve discovered the hard way.

    Thank you for your courage in being open about yours. I really do respect you and your beliefs, even though I don’t share them.

    Perhaps you’re braver than I am, since you’re willing to post yours online, and I’m not ;)

  • Julie

    Thank you for this thought-provoking post.
    I follow several bloggers because they focus on different niches in which I have an interest. I read them primarily for the insight they bring regarding those topics. Sometimes they share a personal experience or struggle as an illustration of the topic at hand.
    But I find more and more people are willing to broadcast that kind of personal information merely because they can. And I don’t want to know it. I don’t want the responsibility of knowing it. As much as I feel I might “know” them, these people are not my real life friends. Any relationship I have with them is one-sided. Even if I comment on their blogs, they don’t know me.

    I am frequently amazed at the information people are willing to share on sites such as Facebook, too. I have chosen to befriend people — I refuse to use “friend” as a verb — because I am genuinely interested in them and want to keep in touch. (Or because they are close relatives and I feel an obligation.) But I often wonder, do these people with hundreds of Facebook friends really think everyone wants to know their daily schedules?

    Heather Reply:

    Good point about Facebook. While on Twitter, I have chosen not to use Facebook because I find that too much is shared. Like you, I don’t want the responsiblity of knowing. Even on Twitter, I make sure to only share what I would share with a stranger who strikes up a conversation at the park.

    Elissa Reply:

    I’ve just recently stopped logging on to Facebook. I’m way too busy to read about everyone’s every move and I’ve become much more reserved about what I want the FB world to know about what is going on in my world.

  • Erin Starks-Teeter

    I think that if you feel bad about reading it then you shouldn’t be reading it. If you feel bad about writing it then you shouldn’t be writing it. That is all.

  • Melody

    Katie,
    Thank you for being brave enough to post about this topic. I’ve been thinking of that very thing lately as I interact with people online (particularly on Facebook). It always amazes me what people are willing to share. I had to “unfriend” a family member because she was posting what I felt were inappropriate and highly intimate details of her sexual relationships. I simply don’t want to know that sort of thing. It’s none of my business what she does, with whom or how often. Oy! I just chalked it up to my wanting to keep private things private.

    It’s refreshing to know that there are others out there who feel like a line is being crossed and who aren’t afraid to say “no thank you, I’d rather not know that”. Thank you for standing up and showing character and for reminding us all that just because it is accepted, it doesn’t mean it’s right.

  • Cara

    I think we can share too much, I started out pretty conservative (not posting kids pictures, using their names, or talking about any family stuff) and I’ve slowly become more open- but I try and make sure there’s a good reason for it. I started posting about my daughter’s special needs not to exploit her, but rather to encourage other parents that there *is* something that can be done for special needs kids, even if the doctors say there isn’t.

    I think the motivation is a biggie- are we blogging to draw attention to ourselves, or to encourage people and point to Christ?

  • Anne

    I agree completely that to share such private information simply for the purpose of shocking, titillating, or gratifying one’s audience is wrong. There are some circumstances, though, I believe, when it is actually beneficial to be open with others about such things. The difference is in the motive and intent: to edify and build another person up, or to enjoy sinful conversation for the pleasure it brings.

    I can think of a few examples where it would be appropriate to share such private details:

    1. When one is in a position to counsel someone else who either made or is considering making a terrible mistake/choice in their sex life. Someone who made such mistakes in their past, but is now forgiven and set free, has a lot of wisdom to share with someone approaching the same crossroads and could possibly prevent them from making the wrong choice.

    2. With one’s children. I think it’s important for parents to be open with their children – to a certain extent, and appropriate for their age/understanding – about sex. Too often, conservative Christian parents make the mistake of casting a very negative light on sex instead of celebrating it within the right context (marriage). As someone else said, this is a tricky balance that requires an entire book to discuss, not just a little blog comment ;)

    3. When my husband and I were trying to conceive our first child, I was part of an online community of other women in the same position. Since conceiving a child naturally involves very private matters, we were all open with each other about that. It wasn’t in a sexual way, though, or meant to shock. It was more educational and encouraging, because we were all going through the same thing at the same time. I learned so much from that group of women; lessons I continue to carry with me (and more than about conception and all that it entails!), and I don’t regret their sharing with me and vice versa about the intimate details of our lives. Perhaps for others, this would be a threshold they wouldn’t cross, but I was comfortable with it b/c of the intent and purpose. Besides, it was anonymous;)

    Katie Reply:

    Anne,
    What excellent points – it is not all black and white! I especially think no. 2 is important, as sexuality is a beautiful gift, and if portrayed as ugly or forever off limits, children will just become curious and go where they shouldn’t without any guidance. :) Katie

  • Nicole

    Thanks for saying this Katie. In our culture it is so often normal for us to bare it all. Not that transparency is bad, but discretion, esp. when regarding a husband and wife, is beautiful! It is not special or “holy” (set apart) if all the world knows! Yet I am afraid I have at times been to open myself and feel it was a betrayal to the intimacy my husband and I share. Thank you for the honest reminder to guard certain parts of my life…both what I share and what I take in.

  • Laura

    I believe that sometimes sharing your experiences can help others. If it were me, I would be doing it anonymously. Of course, I have remorse for all those things, and it would be extremely obvious in my writing and I would try to share how I overcame those things and how I cope with the consequences in my life because of those actions (and believe me, there are many). It can be helpful to learn about things you can do to help your relationship (those fun little games), but there needs to be some discretion.
    As far as what you should read or watch- ask yourself a few questions. Is it helpful? Is it uplifting? Is it educational? How do I feel when I watch/read it? If it makes you long for something you don’t have (or isn’t right), you probably shouldn’t read/watch it. If it is educational, that doesn’t always mean it is okay. I am very guarded about what I watch and read. I don’t want to become desensitized to all of those things out there.

    Katie Reply:

    Laura,
    It is so easy to be desensitized, isn’t it? I’m known at my book club as the one who won’t like books with sex in them. Yep. I don’t. ;) Katie

  • Stephanie

    Thanks for such a great post. I know exactly what you are talking about. I was so excited to finally read “Eat. Pray. Love.” when I heard that it was coming out as a movie. While I enjoyed most of the book, I began to slowly cringe as I got to the last section. Some things I just really don’t want to hear (or about) and some things should just be kept to ourselves. By the time I finished the book, I felt like Elizabeth and I were friends because I knew quite a bit about her but I was ready to put the book on Ebay and I still haven’t seen the movie yet (although I probably will just because I love Julia Roberts). I guess I believe in that old saying…”Less is more.” Not a popular world opinion but it is my opinion nonetheless.

  • Emily

    Wow, where to start? So many thoughts. I guess first, I agree with Cara, encouraging and pointing others to Christ should be the motivation in all that we do. Period.
    But where does that leave those that say “I don’t want to know, I don’t want the responsibility?” I agree that could apply to some (stranger at the park, random person on facebook – but then why are you friends with them?) but yet isn’t that what God made us for? He made us for communion and community and that is first and primarily with Him, but the also to a very large extent with others. He made us for this. Even to the stranger at the park. As sad as it is, maybe they don’t have anyone in their life with whom they can or chose to be real. Isn’t it selfish of us to say I don’t want that responsibility (especially if it is family or an actual friend)? Isn’t that more judgmental to decide their life is too messy for you to deal with than saying yes you have sinned (and so have I, by the way Romans 3:23 -24 for hope offered). Now let us mourn it, repent and seek God for his changing power. God has called us to community and that is not always clean or easy. We all need to hear the gospel as we live our lives, and if those that are Christians won’t share it, with each other and the world, who will?
    On sharing too much, I think a caution against it can be legitimate, but I think we need to be careful again of our motivations. Some things, such as a relationship between a husband and wife, are only meant for the two involved. There should be whispers and shadows of it that children and others would know the beauty of it, without details or vulnerabilities of the couple being exposed. Where does that leave us with Song of Solomon? There are definitely details there. . .
    Are we being cautious to not share because of our pride? Who we are, our failings and shortcomings and struggles as well as our successes and joys, as Christians point to God’s sufficiency, his power, his love, his grace – again the amazing gospel story, which as Christians we are living in its entirety. If we do not share these things when appropriate or prompted by the Spirit are we really being honest?
    What about when others share things they maybe shouldn’t? Do we reject them and turn away? Or do we love them enough to do the more difficult and talk to them about it – whether that is saying maybe you should talk to so and so about how they made you feel; or it seems you are hurting, may I pray with/for you; or just taking the opportunity to pray for someone that is clearly hurting, praying that the Spirit would open their eyes to Reality and Hope.
    That is my desire, please do! To borrow from Paul, “not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” (Phil 3:12) Isn’t this the goal? Isn’t this why the amazing gift of community was given? To encourage and remind and call.
    Thank you all for the ways you have done this for me in this post and these comments.
    Humbly, in Him,
    Emily

    Katie Reply:

    Emily,
    Being a Christian ain’t easy, is it? You speak much truth very eloquently here, thank you. You reminded me that I should simply pray for Molly [insert name of anyone I inadvertently judge here]. Off to do that now… :) Katie

  • Anastasia Borisyuk

    I never share anything remotely private on my blog. I think my personal life and relationship with my husband is ours to keep and nourish. I don’t even share anything intimate with friends! I think once you bring things outside the bedroom or your own home, there is an element of trust that gets lost. I feel that Jesus does not want us to make our private lives public, but as we see that’s exactly what society does today. Sex is everywhere and in such magnitude that we start thinking it it ok for us to be part of the obscenity.

  • Kristy @momhatescooking

    I completely agree with your thoughts on this. I do believe that reading about things that you feel are not right, does allow the devil to have a foothold in your life. It opens doors that shouldn’t be open and allows your mind to go places it shouldn’t. That’s been my experience anyway.

    I also am I guess very prude myself so I couldn’t really imagine discussing what goes on behind closed doors with the rest of the world let alone my best friend!

    I think in the end no matter is what is shared, we are always called to love no matter what our opinions are, but we are not always called to ‘read’ or ‘partake’ in whatever it may be. Hope that makes sense.

    Love your post.

  • Trishia

    sometimes i think it’s all too easy to pen (or type) our thoughts and feelings and history regarding intimate issues, when many of us would never share such things face to face, even with close friends! some would call this freeing or therapeutic. i agree with you though…some things are better left “unpenned.” simply because we’re now “modern society” it doesn’t mean that we’re obligated to share our innermost selves with the public.

  • Tonya

    This post calls to mind a guest post you did on NFP.

    http://simpleorganic.net/nfp-natural-parenting-can-start-before-conception/

    Knowing you somewhat IRL, this comment raised my eyebrows, “Yes, when choosing to avoid, it’s like a honeymoon when the fertile phase is over!” because it didn’t seem to stick with your conservative nature. It doesn’t bother me, but it did make enough impression that it was readily called to mind when reading this post.

    Katie Reply:

    True, the title “Do We All?” certainly included myself in “all,” didn’t it? ;)

  • Carmen

    Katie, I’m sure you know you will be bombarded with comments. I’ll keep mine short. You asked can reading about sin give the devil a foothold in my own life…? Proverbs 4:23 says “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Its been a topic in our household. Our mind has a way to deceive ourselves that we can not even depend on it. I’ve learned to rely on scripture as my plumb line. I’ve recently started blogging with the focus of health, family and simple living to glorify God and bring people to know the truth. It can be easy to get caught up in what everybody else is doing and loose sight and feel like we are left behind in the blogworld. Funny I just saw a twitter saying, “want to grow your blog, just blog about your life”. .. Whatever we do, we are to glorify God, do we glorify Him by sharing all our doings? That is for all to answer on their own.

    Katie Reply:

    Carmen,

    Very true, the devil’s most effective tactic is to trick us into thinking something doesn’t matter when it could be killing our soul, something as simple as the wrong book or movie.

    Thanks – Katie

  • LucyLou

    While I don’t believe in sin in the way that you do, I agree that blogging has made it too easy to say more than you meant to. (Of course, if you meant to, then you meant to… but I for one find that it the medium makes it too easy to go too far.)

    Any suggestions for how to keep the “line” you don’t intend to cross when it comes to blogging, before you at all times? I’d be interested to hear it.

    As Ralph Waldo Emerson said. My life is for itself, and not for a spectacle.

    Thanks for a point well made. Keep up the good work.

  • Rachel

    This post really disturbed me. For one you are totally picking on Molly. Would you like it if someone wrote a post attacking you and your beliefs. If I was Molly, I would be totally offended. I think that we all have a right to free speech and can share whatever we feel is appropriate, even if it is about sex. You also have a choice what you view online. If it offends you and your beliefs then don’t go back to that blog. You also have to know that not everyone our Christians, so may have different beliefs than you.

    kara Reply:

    Wow, I agree with Rachel. I love your blog for all the food-related info, but really feel like this post was preachy and very judgmental. If you feel like reading about someone’s escapades is sinful, than don’t read them, but please don’t judge them for sharing.

    Emily Reply:

    My intention is not to be cheeky, but truly, are you not both doing the same thing to Katie that you accuse her of doing?
    “even if it is about sex”
    What if it is what you believe to be right or wrong, not based on yourself or your standard, but based on a holy God who has created every human and calls them to a certain standard; that everyone fails to meet?
    What if it is on a struggle, common to all humans, as to how to be what we were created to be?
    And to offer the hope that though we all fail, God in his grace has created a way to right the wrong. If that is what one believes, it is not judgmental to attempt, in our feeble and sometimes confusing ways, to communicate that hope to others. If one actually believed that to be true and DIDN’T try to communicate it to others, I would question either their conviction or their care for me/others.
    I do hope that makes sense, and that neither of you are feeling annoyed. I agree with most all of what Katie said and this is merely my personal response and thoughts on your comments. I guess because I do hold what I tried to state to be true, I would have been hypocritical to not to share it with you :)

    Katie Reply:

    Rachel,
    My intent was certainly not to pick on Molly, but the concept that presented itself in my mind while I was reading her book deserved an outlet. She was just the candidate for “the example,” but this article could have been written about many bloggers/writers/famous people.

    If my beliefs are attacked, I’m lucky enough (blessed enough) that my belief system includes the fact that persecution is a blessing! However, in no way would I like to attack Molly. I really rather like her and would love to meet her someday, eat at her restaurant and have a chat about food and blogging…although this post may make that a bit tough now.

    I firmly believe in “hate the sin, not the sinner.” I should have included that old phrase in this post just to make clear: I have nothing but love and respect for Molly Wizenberg and all that she has accomplished. I despise the sexual sin that is rampant in our culture, though, and I feel heartily sorry for those who fall prey to subjective truths and outright lies like “sex doesn’t matter, it’s just a physical thing.”

    As a Christian, I believe in one God who created everyone, from myself to Molly to you, whether you believe that or not. If I didn’t think the same rules applied to everyone, they wouldn’t mean anything and my faith wouldn’t either. I know that there are certain “rules” written on our hearts, and the fact that hearts are united, not just bodies, through having intercourse is one of them. To have sex with one who is not your spouse is to offer that heart for slaughter, to be ripped in two when the couple goes their separate ways. Like a cancer, whether the victim can feel it or not isn’t relevant.

    That’s my faith, and I do hope you can respect me enough to allow my thoughts to be spoken and know that I respect your comments as well as Molly’s book.
    Thank you,
    Katie

  • Rose in Ohio

    Katie, I now hold you in higher esteem than ever.

  • Milehimama

    But isn’t one of the points of a blog – as opposed to a website – dialogue?
    I don’t see a problem with Katie writing about her feelings/views of an issue many bloggers struggle with – how much to share and how personal to get.

    I also wouldn’t have a problem with the blogger mentioned here writing about this post, either.

  • kara

    This post has continued to make me think, which is a good thing, thanks! I think the reason why I am offended by it is essentially the same reason why Molly sharing her sexual experience offends you. For me my religious views are deeply personal. You may feel comfortable to shout them from the rooftops, but that makes me very uncomfortable, just as reading Molly’s sexual experience makes you uncomfortable. My reaction to what you are writing is my reaction. I can blog about it, state my opinion, but to suggest that you should consider sharing less of your personal religion views would be doing a disservice to free speech, plus, as evident in your comments, would be doing a disservice to your readers.

    Share away, I say!

    Emily Reply:

    I didn’t see this before I replied to your last comment, but I suppose you at least agree I wasn’t being cheeky :)
    I agree with you that I greatly appreciate the way this post has caused me to be thoughtful on the subject!
    Thanks Katie!
    and thank you Kara for being willing to share your views and have the discussion.

    Amanda Reply:

    Amen sister :)

  • Erin

    I am conflicted. I feel that the main point of your topic is highly, highly appropriate. The question then becomes… was it necessary to share which particular blogger had brought you to your conclusions?

    In essence, I feel like you could have posted the entire topic above without specifically mentioning which blogger was causing your discomfort. It almost felt a bit sensationalistic, which I know was not your intent.

    In short, good message and I respect it greatly, but casting stones is always dangerous.

    Katie Reply:

    Erin,
    I very much appreciate your insight. You really made me think about how I used Molly’s story as an example for my topic, and how this idea actually came about.

    When I read the chapter “Special Game,” I was so struck by how God has written in our hearts the desired to be “the only,” and even when people don’t believe in Him, they still can feel that natural law, so to speak. We have human yearnings that are made to turn us toward God and help us follow His will in this world, I believe. To answer the desire for “the one and only” would necessitate marriages to be forever and sexual intimacy to remain within those bonds…

    That concept was a paragraph in my drafts folder for quite some time, and in the meantime, the thoughts in my head ran away with the idea. I started thinking about the bloggers sharing topic, and it all sort of meshed together. This post really should have been two posts, one titled as this one is, and a second with the poignant message of “the one and only” that was totally buried in the other point here.

    One of my weaknesses is definitely gabbing on too long, and I think that’s what happened here, with two topics in one. You’re right, I didn’t really need to pull Molly’s story into the fray necessarily to prove my point about over-sharing.

    So thank you for your thoughts; it’s good to be part of a community not afraid to lovingly discipline one another! :) Katie

  • Christy

    I was so glad to see a Mary and Martha moment – they are why I originally subscribed to your blog and why I continue. I agree with the commenter who said you could have done this without mentioning Molly but I am still glad you wrote this post, it challenges us all – Catholic, Christian or otherwise. Thank you.

  • Stuart Saul

    There is no sin in reading whatever you want. So long as you don’t allow it to change you or hurt you, this is fine. Catholics can read anything. Absolutely anything. There is no sin in this.

    If you are strong enough to deal with something in a book, go ahead and read it. Many priests have told me this, and also a bishop, once. I’m a very analytical person. Anything sexual in a book does not affect me at all. As an intellectual, virtually nothing I read bothers me. So I read anything.

    Certain people may not be as tough in the mind as me. There are certain books I wouldn’t pass on to others. But that’s up to others. Other people have responsibility for what they read. It’s not the bookstore person’s fault if someone buys a book and it breaks them away from belief in God. Virtually anything can break a person’s belief in God. So I wouldn’t worry about it.

Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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