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On Change and Accountability

December 10, 2018

Not referring to anything in specific but I always wonder whether folks are allowed to change in our culture. If someone says something egregious years ago but grows and develops and changes their views, is it still “accountability” if they’re dragged for their former views?

 

I had views as a teenager around a whole host of things that I now see were problematic, they hurt people, especially the most vulnerable. But at the time I was also evangelical and beholden to an all encompassing worldview dependent on those marginalizing perspectives. It was seeing how my views—views on poverty, other faiths, gender, sexuality—were beholden to historically constituted systems that continued to marginalize people that I was forced to reckon not just with the views, but with the whole evangelical worldview I was beholden to. And for me, challenging my worldview required leaving the evangelical faith tradition that had been so integral to my life for so long. Doing that wasn’t easy, because leaving constituted leaving a community, challenging people I had come to call family, and reorienting my understandings of life after death.

 

All of which is to say changing ones views, especially when these views are wrapped up in a whole worldview, is extremely difficult and takes time. What does it mean to hold space for people to change? How does accountability work in tension with this? How do we do both/and?

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