Unmasking the Source of Christian Anti-Semitism - Part III

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 26 May 2004 0 Comments
Please login with your account to read this essay.


Why do most of the writers whose questions you answer come from Australia? Are the Australians the majority of the questioners? Or do they ask the more interesting questions?


I loved your question because I did not think it was so. Checking back I have discovered it is fair to say that "some" but certainly not "most" of the questions come from Australia. I suspect that, given the relative population of Australia (twenty million people) to the U.S.A. (almost three hundred million), it would be fair to say that my Australian questions are larger than the relative populations of the two countries might lead one to expect. So I interpret your question to be asking why this is?

One reason may be that I dearly love Australia and the Australian people. Christine and I have made seven trips to that wonder-filled land for lecture tours. I suppose I have spoken more than 400 times in Australia and have been on Australian radio and television stations so many times I have lost count. These have ranged from appearances on late night comedy television - like 'Denton Live,' the Australian version of Jay Leno - to the Australian version of "Meet the Press," to a special produced by Geraldine Doogie that would be not dissimilar to CBS's "60 Minutes." I have been the subject of major features in almost every daily newspaper and have written Op-Ed pieces for various dailies among the major newspapers of that country at their request. So I am well known in Australia. My books sell (on a per capita basis) better in Australia than in any other country of the world. My autobiography "Here I Stand" was for several weeks on the Top Ten Non-Fiction List in the whole land. This column is also widely read in Australia. I spent October of 2003 in Australia and suspect that some of the questions you refer to come from that.

While on this subject, let me say a word about the Q and A feature in this column. I solicit questions through this column and also through every public lecture I give. Whether I get to all the live questions from my lecture audiences or not, I invite the to submit them on paper for possible use in this column. I work on these questions, as well as those that are mailed directly to this column, constantly in spare moments. At this time, I have more than one thousand questions in my unanswered file and I collect them at the rate of 50-100 a week. I will never keep up. Lots of them are similar so I combine them. Many of them are repetitive but they come six months after I had addressed a similar concern. The column gains new readers at the rate of 400 - 500 readers a month so people are always coming in with no knowledge of what has gone on in the past. I hope this helps my readers understand why it is a very rare occurrence when I am able to respond personally instead of through the column.

I am deeply appreciative of both my readership and their questions. I hope that by having this explanation my readers might better understand why the response to their questions is not instantaneous and why some of their questions may never be chosen. On the questions that come via the Internet it would be helpful if you would include the place where you live. I think people like to have the context in which to imagine the questioner.

Finally, I do not pick the question for this column each week. My publishers do this from the stack I send to them regularly so I never know what the Q&A will be. I only know that I have written it.

-- John Shelby Spong




Leave a Reply