Back when I first started working on my book The Girl with the Grace Tattoo; I wanted to earn myself a place at the emergent/progressive Christian table as a new voice. I very quickly learned that they were not interested in new voices, they were only interested in their voices. I apparently ran in all the wrong circles because I tried to talk with several of these authors and only one of them ever even bothered to talk with me. The rest were too important and they knew it. They didn’t want new voices at the table because that would threaten their income.
At first I was upset that only one of them talked to me, but now seeing the Tony Jones fiasco and who is supporting him and who isn’t, I’m glad I don’t have a voice at their table, because I’m afraid that having that much power might corrupt me like it is corrupting some other authors. Yes, I want to sell a lot of books, but not at the expense of giving up my humanity and turning into a monster that’s only interested in power at all costs.
I would like to say that I would stand with Julie because that would be the right thing to do, but once a person is in a position of power, doing the right thing seems to be harder than it used to be. I’m not arrogant enough to presume that I wouldn’t let power corrupt me, but what I can say after seeing this whole thing unfold is that that I’m glad I wasn’t given a voice at the table; I’m glad that I am just little old me without a lot of influence, happy that my income doesn’t depend on covering up or overlooking abuse.
I would like to sell a whole lot more books, but I hope it will never be at the expense of treating others right. I want to be respected as an author and as someone with something valid to say, but not if it’s going to ruin me. It’s hard sometimes because I do get jealous when these other authors are respected and people wait to buy their work. I want to enjoy the same status that they do, in being well known. But Julie and other women like her who have been through abuse deserve better from Christians, and so if I’m never a household name, I do hope I’ll maintain my integrity.