With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

And writers have a great power…one they may not realize.

When I was a child, I used to think that publishers wouldn’t print books that had false information in them; something I now know not to be true. I wonder if laypeople back in the day thought the same, especially since printing a book was such an expensive and laborious process.

“How did the two sides even share the umbrella title of ‘Christian’? Is there room for both under that banner? This is a question we can ask retrospectively of the slave era in America. But it’s also a question with contemporary implications. Can those who advocate polices that appear completely antithetical to the message of Christ share the same banner of ‘Christian’ with those who insist that Christ came to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, and minister to the ‘least of these’?”

This quote from Yolanda Pierce’s article Slavery and Religious Rhetoric” really shows me just how powerful words are. The fact that a book, written such a long time ago, can still have such an effect on people and how they function, as well as such a negative effect on people is astounding. I have hard time processing how people can adopt these words as complete truth on face value, but it happens. Even when it comes to modern-day policy, people are still using texts read at face value, such as the Bible, to try and make laws that justify oppression. With such strong modern implications, we can see that when a writer takes pen to paper (or hand to keyboard), they have a purpose and intent, whether it’s good or malign.

I think that if we are to adopt these people’s ideas, we should not adopt them based off of their word that their text is correct. I think we should put policies into action if they better all people, not because they are what someone’s religious text says.

Regardless, it just goes to show how powerful a written word is. It shows me that, as a writer, the things I put on paper (now on the web) can have great future implications.

What do you think? Do writers, especially where so much of what they write isn’t printed, still have a great responsibility when writing, or was that lost when we stopped printing what we write (unless it’s a novel, of course)?

2 thoughts on “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility”

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