We have a growing culture of public shaming.  Or at least that’s one possible conclusion from an interesting NY Times essay on the phenomenon.  We decided that we should take up the question of what such public shaming means for us as Christians.  So we did.

Jonathan Chait’s essay on “political correctness” also makes an appearance or two, so it’s worth reading as well.

If you enjoyed the show (AND ONLY IF), leave us a review at iTunes.  If you didn’t enjoy the show, let us know and we’ll work to make it better.  Or we’ll ignore you.  And if you want to subscribe by RSS, you can do that here.

Finally, as always, follow DerekAlastair, and Andrew for more tweet-sized brilliance.  And thanks to Timothy Motte for his sound editing work.


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Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.


  1. Who said “knitting?” That was brilliant.


  2. […] latest Mere Fidelity podcast has gone online. This week, Derek Rishmawy, Andrew Wilson, Matt Lee Anderson, and I discuss the […]


  3. Good stuff!
    I kept re-playing several parts of it and jotting down notes and queries – I certainly appreciate Alastair’s point about the need to step back and reflect. With many fast-moving Twitter-conversations I often don’t work out what I want to say until after the party’s over!
    One part of your podcast that I re-played several times was what Matt said about tweets ‘going nuclear’ and of us having ‘to walk in fear of the bomb going off.’ You all commented on instances of the punishing consequences for some people when the bomb does go off. This is a reality of the present age which was not a reality even as recently as 20 years ago.
    But… you will not be daunted by it and three cheers for Alastair’s final words:
    ‘We are prepared to offend modern orthodoxies …when it’s proper, we will do it and we will have the nerve to do it.’
    I think of this:
    ‘There’s no discouragement
    will make him once relent
    his first avowed intent
    to be a pilgrim.’
    Derek, I think you are a fantastic MC and I love two of your new phrases (well new to me, anyway) : ‘RT mobs’ and ‘fear of the re-tweet’.
    I am just about to RT Alastair’s tweet about a ‘genderless God’ article and its comments. I will be shaking in my shoes as I RT it, but I will RT it anyway. I have not come up against much ‘God-is-a woman’ propaganda in my off-line life…just enough to put me on my mettle.


  4. Good work, guys. I have thought about this more and more over the years– particularly when I came on to work at my current job, as my new boss and I had followed each other on twitter for at least a year before I got hired. Between him and several other coworkers on twitter, I’m a bit more careful than I was before– and I think it’s helpful to have that sort of discretion.

    I do wish you’d gotten more into whether or not “going nuclear” is ever good– for example, I don’t think the Kirby Delauter affair played out as it should have, but there’s an example of someone being shamed on the internet for something that was fully contextualized, and in the wider context hit on fears that a lot of journalists have about my state’s toothless public information act.


  5. Thanks for the program. It is striking that there seems to be no room for mercy in this enterprise, yet there is a gnawing sense that some forms of public shame actually have a positive effect in some contexts.
    BTW, came across this awhile back; a perspective on public shaming and the progressive left:


  6. Jayson Georges March 21, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Great discussion, and nice timing. Andy Crouch’s cover article for the recent Christianity Today issue is “The Good News about Shame.” He has great insights about shame in contemporary US culture, and offers a theological (not just psychological) remedy. This post has a link-thru to read the full article:


  7. […] in our commercial behaviors as well. (Thus there is a close link between our boycott culture and our shame culture.) Because we no longer see human beings when we look at our neighbors but only avatars for […]


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