I like this column by Suzanne Fortin over at No Apologies:
A recent occurrence sums it up nicely for me. I decided to sign up for a publicly funded poetry workshop. The lady who ran it was very sweet, but even though she was very nice, you know when you walk into room full of writers, the liberal worldview predominates. The exercises consisted of free writing that would be shared with the class – because that’s the whole point. Being Catholic and a pro-life activist, the things I think about are worlds away from what other people do. I didn’t want to sow division when I read my stuff because that would just ruin the atmosphere, so I didn’t write what I really thought. Now everyone in the room probably also engaged in a measure of self-censorship. But there’s more to censor when you don’t share the predominant worldview. It was very stifling. I didn’t write what I really wanted to say, which made the material inauthentic. Which is to say, not very good.
For me, this speaks to the notion that pro-lifers ought to be really great at what they do best, be it as artists, writers, doctors, lawyers. But the journey is uphill, because oftentimes in order to get to be the best in your field–whatever that field may be–you have to conceal your own convictions. Those who are imbued with tremendous talent can probably be as public as they like from the get go. For the rest of us, though, we have to plug along and do our best, working and waiting and strategically wondering when and how we can reveal who we truly are. Be it Christian, or pro-life, or gasp and good luck to you–both.
P.S. I don’t know how this happened, but I ran recently into this fellow who competes in “poetry slams” here in Ottawa. He broke out into a poem right there on the spot, which I very much enjoyed, if in part because it was so unexpected. Anyway, he shares in this particular poem (listen carefully) the struggle of being a Catholic Christian in a hostile culture.by