Today and all week this week, in fact, I am deviating from my normal routine of book reviews.
Recently, I heard that a well-known Christian writing conference was going to be nearer my home this year, and was excited to think I may get to go. However, before I had gotten very far in my planning, I heard something very disturbing regarding the conference.
The conference will have an early speaker that is notorious for his “colorful” language. I’m not a prude, I know people use all kinds of words when speaking, but I do feel that the “f-bomb” is just a little too much, especially for a Christian conference.
This, to me, is the equivalent to the following scenario:
A local new car dealership sells Fords. Now, the dealer has heard many people say they like Toyota’s better. He thinks to himself, I’ll just slap a label of Ford on a Toyota and sell it as a Ford. The problem, of course, is that the people going to a Ford dealership want a Ford, not a Toyota-EVEN if it says FORD on it.
When marketing there are some venues where you can expect every range of product available for example, BAM or B&N offer ALL types of books, even some considered porn. However, if you go to Lifeway or another Christian bookstore, you don’t expect to see a non-Christian book and especially not porn.
You can rationalize, explain and trivialize it all you want, but the fact remains, this is a venue for Christian writers. There are LOTS of other venues for writers, to include the different writer’s groups the speaker is affiliated with, such as Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America and several others.
There is even a paragraph in the intro portion of the Christian writers conference page stating that every year hundreds of veteran authors and new authors (and I’m also assuming, want to be authors) gather together to learn the craft of Christian fiction. My question is, “How can you learn the craft of Christian fiction from someone who most people would be offended listening to and would either sit there in uncomfortable silence or walk out in disgust?”
To say I’m disappointed is putting it mildly. I’ve read books by and interacted with most, if not all, of the board members, and I feel this is a stab in the back to those trying to stay true to the craft.
I don’t think I would be as upset if this person had not been there before and/or people weren’t aware of his propensity to vulgarity. But, he has been a SPEAKER for this same group before (and most people walked out of his speech).
If you put a wolf in sheep’s clothing, it’s still a wolf!