On Thursday, I posted some thoughts on 'Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.' While most folks reacted to my comparison of Mohammed to Christ, I did try to make a subtle point about the OSR. Based on those very same reactions, it appears to have been largely missed.
One of the reasons I love this hobby has nothing to do with the games we play. I play because of the people at the table, or, in the case of our little corner of the internet, the people behind the blogs. Although we are quite a diverse bunch who tend to like to argue a lot and can occasionally get rather snarky, I largely find that people who populate the OSR to be very decent human beings — despite our great diversity of opinions, backgrounds, interests, etc. In some ways (regardless of whether we espouse to be or not) we behave in a rather Christian-like manner. We freely give away much of our hard work and help support each other by buying what we do have to sell — even when we can get some of it for free. When one of us asks for help, it is almost certain someone will answer the call.
Thus, when one of us writes about the games we play, we generally don't expect someone to tell us that what we have written should not even be said. For example, "You like the Thief class? You shouldn't say such things in polite society!" is not something I expect to see (outside of an poor attempt at sarcasm).
Yet, whenever I venture into theology, apologetics or some other challenging aspect of religion, I am routinely criticized for doing so. Rather than wrestling with what I've said, I'm criticized for the act of saying it. Essentially: Gasp! How dare you speak of such things!
Mind you, I take no offense. As I've said from the very beginning of this blog I am very aware the worlds of Christian Theology and RPGs are definitely not seen as compatible by a good chunk of people out there. My hope has always been to reduce that number and to explore just how creative both Christian Theology and RPGs can be.
However, Thursday got me to thinking about this apparent disconnect between on the one hand the way the OSR is able to so deftly handle the great diversity that exists out here when it comes to RPGs and on the other hand the way it can try to shut down things outside of RPGs (note that even Jeff, who was largely trying to stay away from religion and politics, got directly and passively criticized for bringing up 'Everybody Draw Mohammed Day' in the first place). Now, maybe I'm not deeply involved enough in the OSR to see this kind of thing more often, but it still makes me wonder.
17 hours ago