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Snark is in the eye of the beholder

Because I am taking a beating in several comboxes because the fans of Simcha Fisher are outraged that I should criticize her approach to Emma Smith, I am going to take advantage of the fact that I have my own blog and get a few things off my chest.

Simcha Fisher is known for her snark. Got it. However, just because she has a way with words that can slash someone down to size in a heartbeat does not mean that when her words are mere pin pricks in comparison, they are not still hurtful.

If one takes Emma Smith's piece in the context of her entire series, it is clear that she is trying to show there is an alternative to the secular approach to marriage. I know she published her piece on the internet and opened her life up to public criticism. And there are some fair critiques that can be made about her current article. But coming about it with the attitude of "Stupid girl! She is really going to be embarrassed by this in a few years!" is just cruel.

If I had been writing Simcha's piece I would have approached it something like this:
Emma Smith got a lot of things right in her latest edition of her engagement chronicle. Her perspective is understandable considering that she is engaged and anticipating marriage, but has not actually been married. Since I am further along this marital journey with a few more miles on the treads, my perspective is a little different....
I would have then given my perspective without taking on Emma Smith point by point. Of course, I am not an A-list blogger and published book author so maybe I don't have the creds to criticize. I certainly don't have legions of fans to rush to my defense with ad hominem attacks in the com box. I wonder what Simcha Fisher will think about her response to Emma in another ten years.

UPDATE:  I am not going to wade back in to the Facebook combox discussions still brewing on this topic. When defenders of one position start calling those who disagree with them nimrods you know the opportunity for civil discourse is long gone. However, I will say that it seems that the bone of contention has to do with how you read the original article. I read Emma Smith's article as a testimony that anchoring your marriage in God gives you the confidence to go forward and believe that fidelity is possible. This is counter to our secular culture that views infidelity as inevitable. In no way did I see this as a statement that as long as you have enough faith everything will be roses and rainbows and if your marriage doesn't work out it is a clear reflection on your inadequate faith, piety, etc. Those who read the article as I did saw Simcha Fisher's response as harsh and an unnecessarily personal attack. It reminded me of one of those ladies who has to tell you every horror story about pregnancy, childbirth, and newborns as soon as she finds out you are pregnant. My impression is that Simcha Fisher and others read Emma Smith's article and drew the conclusion that she was saying that you can guarantee earthly happiness if you just trust in God enough. They viewed this as a slam at everyone who has experienced marital tragedies, seeing it to be akin to viewing physical afflictions as evidence of sin. If I had read the article that way, I would have been up in arms too. I honestly do not believe that is what she was saying and I suspect her editors also did not read it that way or they would never have published it. If that is not the crux of the misunderstanding, then I have no idea what it is. It is very sad that it cannot be discussed without people casting aspersions on those who disagree with them. Holding people up for ridicule and starting new Facebook threads to make fun of those who commented on blogs or other Facebook threads is in no way ennobling and does nothing to enrich a community of faith.


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