Killing Me Softly: On Privilege and Voice

Just last week I spoke at a conference at which I hardly knew anybody. But about halfway through the week, I made a new acquaintance and within seconds of swapping similar stories, we became fast friends. Almost instantaneously, we made a lasting connection – and in that moment, I felt significantly less lonely. That’s the magic of story-telling. I love the way that stories powerfully bond humans together by highlighting common experiences, identity and foes. In fact, story-telling (or what we social psychologists call personal-disclosure mutual-sharing) is a commonly used team-building exercise precisely because team identities easily form around the common experiences that we discover when we share our stories.

As a longtime evangelical, I’ve noticed that evangelicals are quite good at telling stories – we tell them in our sermons, our blogs, our books, our songs, our conversations, and even in our most strident arguments. But I’ve noticed something about evangelical story-telling that is worth reflecting on: within evangelical America, not all stories are created equal. Some stories enjoy more prominence than others and story-tellers from certain groups have dominated the mic for a long time and continue to do so.

I'm guest posting at Rachel Held Evan's blog today. Head on over there to read the rest!