One frequent visitor to Irregular Times recently commented to another frequent visitor:
I am telling you that I have more authority on what it means to be a Christian than you do. For as sure as a PhD. Chemist is vastly more qualified to comment on the reactionary properties of chlorine than I, I have more qualifications, as a lifelong Christian, to divulge what a real Christian is than you do, being an atheist. Thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m saying, and Iâ€™ll say it again if need be.
Is this true? Does it Take One to Know One? Do you have to be a Christian to know what a Christian is? Do you have to be a Christian to comment knowledgeably on Christians?
Let’s take that question further. Do you have to be a Christian to know a lot about Christianity? Do you have to be a Christian to comment knowledgeably on Christianity?
What are the implications of this statement outside religion? Do you have to be an American to have standing to comment on American politics? Do only the manatees have the bona fides to talk about the experience of endangered manatees?
Tell me what you think. And consider what your answer implies for the state of discourse in our democracy.