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An Open Letter

open-letterRachel Held Evans (author/speaker/blogger) has written “an open letter to the open letter”.  Here’s what she says...


Dear Open Letter, 

Seeing as how we don’t actually know one another and personal letters don’t generate any blog traffic, I’ve decided to publicly air my grievances against you in a format that positions you as the powerful elite and me as the scrappy underdog willing to take you on.  

I will begin with a backhanded compliment, thanking you for making it easy for bloggers like me to issue one-way rants against the people we don’t like while maintaining the appearance of a conversation.  The compliment is just a formality intended to make me look generous. Don’t worry; things are about to get ugly. 

The fact is, Open Letter, it has come to my attention that you are overused. (Actually it came to my attention about three months ago, back when everyone else was blogging about open letters, but I’ve only now gotten around to writing my post which is why I’m hoping the letter format will make it stand out.)  

When I scroll through my Google Reader in the morning, your name pops up over and over again, and I’m starting to get the impression that you’ve lost your effectiveness. Just this week I saw you shouting at Rob Bell, Justin Taylor, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, and Charlie Sheen. None of them were listening, of course, but it appears that you generated just enough comments to convince my fellow bloggers that you’re a good idea. 

But frankly, Open Letter, you’re starting to get old. 

As a blogger, it’s important for me to feel like I bring something totally original and earth-shattering to the blogosphere each day, so I’m writing this letter to inform you that I won’t be employing your services any longer. 

Well, actually, I’m writing this letter to inform my readers that I won’t be employing your services any longer.  You’ve really got nothing to do with it.  

I will now pretend to be deeply saddened by the whole affair and eager to make amends in spite of your arrogance and inaccessibility. 

I hope we can still be “friends.” 


Rachel H. Evans 


Now, obviously, Rachel is being somewhat tongue in cheek here, but she does bring up an interesting point.  Namely, does the “open letter” really accomplish anything constructive?  And, if not, what is one to do when they feel as if they have something worthwhile to say to a public figure?  Maybe even something this public figure “really needs to hear” (in the writer’s opinion)?  Do they need to just stay quiet?  I have some personal thoughts on this (and I plan to blog about those at a later date)...but, for now, what do you think? 


 (PS—Make sure you take a few minutes to browse around Rachel’s blog,, it’s great!)

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