Reflecting on My Response to Mark Driscoll
About a week ago, the Mars Hill Seattle PR guy visited my website. What he saw in my post “Mark Driscoll’s Top Ten Manliest Ways to Die” was apparently a little too close to libel. So he tracked down my cell number, called me and left a pleasant voice mail.
Knowing that Mars Hills is apt to take legal action … like when they sent a “Cease and Desist” letter to a “Mars Hill Church” in Sacramento claiming copyright infringement (they did eventually back down when the public outcry hurt their PR).
So — remembering said legal action — I put this disclaimer up:
CONTENT DISCLAIMER: As per the direct advice of Mars Hill PR, I am to inform you that this post is fictitious and DOES NOT represent the views or opinions of Mark Driscoll. However, the content of this post is based off Caleb Wilde’s exaggerated interpretation of Mark’s recent radio interview with the British radio program “Unbelievable”.
He seems like a genuinely nice guy … a guy I’d gladly share a conversation and some coffee with, but I can’t think of a more difficult job?
I called Discovery Channel, talked to Mike Rowe and even Mike said this position is simply too messy to be featured on “Dirty Jobs.”
Humor aside, I’ve been reflecting on this small incident for the past couple days.
I first looked inwardly. Sarcasm is something that I’ve tried to work out of my personal life; but, not so much on my blog because sarcasm (can) allow for a creative way to discuss a heavy topic. And that was my intention.
But am I responding in the same spirit as Mark himself? Was my post an immature attempt to bully a bully? Have I done with Mark Driscoll the same thing I’ve done before with Westboro Baptist Church — disliked him to the place where I dehumanize and essentially become like him?
Secondly, I thought about the whole legality of it. Was it REALLY libel?
All that somehow led me to think about literary genre distinctions, and how understanding or misunderstanding the boundaries of literary genre types can either lead to great communication or distasteful miscommunication … especially as it relates to sarcasm.
We’ve been VERY busy at the funeral home and I’ve had little time to process ANYTHING, so that whole inward -> legal -> genre boundaries has taken nearly a week to think through. And, honestly, my thoughts still aren’t tightly organized.
BUT THIS IS THE THOUGHT I’VE SETTLED ON: My post was so over the top misogynistic, homophobic and egotistical that it probably says something about Driscoll himself that Driscoll’s PR director would want me to add a content disclaimer.
In other words, was my post so believably Driscoll that I really had to preface it as non-Driscoll? Judging by the reaction of Driscoll’s PR guy, I suppose the answer is “yes.”
And its not only sad that Driscoll is what I thought he was, but it’s equally as sad that I stooped down to become like him.
Read my post yourself (“Mark Driscoll’s Top Ten Manliest Ways to Die“) and let me know what you think.
To catch up on the waves Driscoll’s been making, here are some links:
Dr. David Fitch wrote a piece entitled, “The Mark Driscoll Fiasco: What this Latest Flap Teaches Us About the Neo-Reformed Movement.” Per usual, Fitch’s insights are well worth your time.
“Cognitive Discopants” documented and commented on the major points of the Driscoll’s “Unbelievable” interview that has caused much of the uproar. The post is called “Driscoll & Brierley on Women in Leadership.”