I Have To Address This

Posted: September 12, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Oh, goodness. I had a fun little post scheduled for tonight…but instead I feel the need to address something else. At least we had some light-hearted fun this afternoon with some good FRIENDS favorites sharing. Can I just say I love that that post is quickly becoming one of my most popular? So reflective of me and my blog. Red heart

Now, moving on to the issue at hand.

This morning I sent out the following message on Twitter:

It annoys me that a review program is discriminating against people who are open about their faith.
@TinaFFF
Tina Reale

Before I go any further, I must clarify two things:

  • This does NOT represent BlogHer. I adore working with them and the limitations on this review program were not from them, but the company itself.
  • For confidentiality purposes, I will not disclose more of the company involved.

That tweet got a bit of a reaction. I sent it out hastily, but can now form a bit more of a thoughtful response.

When I created my blog, I battled with myself on how much of my faith I would include in it. I knew I couldn’t keep it completely out, because it is such a huge part of my life, but did consider what prevalence it would have. If you’re a regular reader, you know preaching isn’t my style. I knew it wouldn’t be something I would write about explicitly as the focus of many of my posts. I wanted to share my life and hope the expression of myself would reflect my faith.

I took the start of this blog seriously. I wanted it to accurately reflect me and the message I hoped to share – aka making the most out of life in whatever way that fulfills each individual differently. At first, I planned to call my blog simply by my tagline – More Than Diet And Workouts. But something felt missing. I tossed around other ideas – More Out Of Life, Fun and Fit Living, Fulfilled Fitness, and probably more I’m forgetting. They all felt wrong.

I had to have my faith openly visible as part of who I am and that I believe having faith in something more than ourselves can provide a higher quality of living. Enter Faith, Fitness, Fun. As soon as that name popped in my head, it was the only one I could imagine calling my blog. I transferred my old sporadic and horrible competition blog over and started Faith Fitness Fun in January of 2010 to truly begin blogging about “more than diet and workouts”.

image
Old FFF look!!!

I am more than thrilled with the paths and direction my blog has taken since then, but deep down I know that the faith aspect can sometimes impact my blog. I know there are people who don’t visit my space solely because they see faith in the name. Some of my favorite blog friends have openly told me they thought the same for awhile. The fact I don’t get as many readers because of having faith in my blog doesn’t bother me. I only wish those who don’t give FFF a chance knew I would never judge them for their beliefs or force my own on them.

This morning I read an email about applying to a review program…but the program requested not applying if political or religious views were a main part of a person’s blog. I understand the company wants to remain neutral in regards to these powerful and very personal viewpoints. And I am not judging them for that. I don’t frown on the company for doing so. They must have their reasons and I respect that.

source

I simply felt shocked at seeing something I feel so strongly about be viewed as a limiting factor in a possibility for my blog.

With all that being said: I am not angry and I wouldn’t change having faith in my blog for anything. I knew going into blogging that my faith could put some people or ventures off because it is such a personal thing. Every person or company has the right to feel that way.

I’m not sorry for sending the tweet, because I will not apologize for standing up for my beliefs. However, I need to acknowledge that if I wish others to be more understanding of where I’m coming from in including my faith…then I also must be understanding when others feel the need to omit faith/religion for whatever reason.

Final gist of this wordy post?

  1. No hard feelings.
  2. Agree to disagree.
  3. I will stand up for my faith.
  4. Sometimes it bothers me the faith aspect can turn people away…but that’s okay because I remain true to myself.

Well, I could have made this post a lot shorter than I did, huh? Winking smile

  • What is something you will stand up for no matter what?
  • How did you come up with your blog’s name?

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85 Comments to “I Have To Address This”
  1. Coco says:

    I was drawn to your blog by all three themes of your title–and your cute pictures! My blog name (Running With Perseverance) came from my focus on running/fitness with an undercurrent of my faith. I always feel like I am going out on a limb with my “faith” posts, but when I even get *one* positive comment I feel like it was worth it.

  2. Tina, what I love about your blog is that it reflects every aspect of YOU. You’re not afraid to discuss what’s on your mind–no matter how embarrassing or personal the issue. Your honesty is refreshing, and it makes me feel comfortable to share my own beliefs and experiences in the comment section.

    As a Christian, I was drawn, in part, to your blog’s title. When I first began reading FFF over a year ago, I was looking to become more comfortable in my own shoes, and knew the journey would be fueled by a deeper exploration of my faith. As I began reading your blog, I learned that you were a genuine person who is passionate about helping women achieve their personal best. Because your beliefs make you who you are, it would be silly to expect you to be real with us while refraining from discussing your faith!

    It makes me sad to know that a company is discriminating against those who share their beliefs openly. I sure hope they reconsider their position in the future, as it’s the “melting pot” of voices that makes blog reading so enriching. xoxoxo

  3. Jenny says:

    I just want to say the title of your blog is what got me started reading it. I love how you display your faith and Christianity: as an integral part of your life, without need for proselytizing or bible thumping. While I can understand how a company would need to exclude overtly religious and political blogs from a legal standpoint (far easier to do a blanket neutrality statement than to find the legal way to refuse extremists without discrimination), it’s a shame that in this age of “tolerate everything” it’s become “say nothing.” Regardless, FFF is amazing.

    • Tina says:

      Thanks, Jenny! And it makes me happy to stick to my beliefs…especially knowing it helps me also connect with others who share the same. :)

  4. one of the main reasons why I read your blog is because of your faith. how many bloggers post about fitness and faith? plus you’re honest and especially now your web design is cute :)

  5. Katy Widrick says:

    I am not religious, although I do have beliefs that I think center me the way religion does for others. But that doesn’t make me more or less attracted to your blog. I read it because I love your voice, and since faith is so important to you, that’s part of your voice.

    And you know how big I am on standing up for what you believe and building a community based on what makes you unique, not like all of the others.

    Having said that, I understand why you’re upset about the rules of the brand opportunity, and I think you are totally justified in posting about it — but to me, it’s not that different than restricting it to any other variables (only women, only triathletes, only parents, etc.). I support you and say this with love and respect — but I don’t see that as discrimination. Obviously I don’t know all of the details, so I could be hasty in my opinion.

    But once again, you’ve made me and your other readers think, and that’s awesome. :)

    • Kelly says:

      I agree with Katy. I don’t really see it as discrimination either. As someone coming with a degree in HR and who worked in that field for several years…I don’t think that is a term that should be used lightly. It has real implications.

      I agree that it isn’t any different than asking for women only or parents only or college kids only. Granted, like Katy said we don’t know the details but with what you did tell us that’s how I feel.

      With regards to your name. I will admit that at first I didn’t read your blog because of the name. Being Jewish and living in the South I have been used to my fair share of people wanting to “witness to me” and “save me” and that isn’t what I am looking for. I am happy in my faith and I only wish for other people to be happy in theirs. I quickly learned that your blog isn’t like that and now I must read everyday! :)

    • Tina says:

      When I first saw it I did have that feeling of discrimination but then as I thought about it I realized that wasn’t what it was about. That’s actually why I wrote this post so people would know that I understand where the company was coming from and that it wasn’t a form of discrimination. I think the main thing that bothered me is I didn’t see how faith applied to the review directly and that was what set me off originally. But there must be reasons and I respect that and needed to clarify I will stand for myself, but also stand for others being able to do what they see fit as well. :)

  6. Amy says:

    Well said, Tina :) I saw your tweet go up yesterday and I was curious about what was going on… so I’m glad you shared! I love what you have done with your space here… the way you open your heart to readers about everything in your life– family, faith, fitness, food– this allows you to form real connections <3

    I've found that as I continue to develop my "voice" as a writer & blogger, my faith is coming through more & more. Like you, I like to think that I can show who I am without preaching… but just by living my life.

  7. emily says:

    i actually find it surprising that people wouldn’t read your blog b/c of your faith. i am by no means at all religious (though that doesn’t mean I don’t have faith, i just consider it differently). what i do know is that i have friends who believe in all sorts of things, and i embrace that, just as they accept me. it would seem odd not to, and i would in all likelyhood avoid a company or anyone who was not accepting and positive in this way.

  8. Whit says:

    Tina, I think that you share your faith in exactly the way God wants you to. Reading these comments and seeing how many people read your blog because of your faith, or have mentioned that you are a great example of a Christian woman in their life shows that. Keep doing what God has you doing, the rest will fall away.

  9. Sara says:

    Amen sister, be proud of your faith! Side note: A co-worker (There’s 300 people in my office building, so I don’t know him personally) has the license plate ATHEIST. Oh it bugs me to no end! I don’t see how someone can believe in NOTHING. But anyway … it used to be make me super angry (this particular person never smiles and if I try to tell him hello, he says nothing. Harsh.) but I decided if people can put Jesus fish on their car or this or that, then I guess he can do whatever he wants with his license plate. This post just reminded me of that. I had to get over it. And I have … now I don’t even look at his license plate. Doesn’t phase me.

    • Liz DiAlto says:

      I’m glad I came across this on Twitter. I’m replying to Sara’s comment because I feel the same way. I don’t see how someone can believe in NOTHING-at the same time my mom always says and so I always say “To each their own.”

      I respect your courage to incorporate your faith into your blog, it’s a kind of courage I don’t think we see enough of anymore. Although that might just mean I’m not looking in the right places.

      Great post!

  10. Lauren says:

    Tina, One of the main things that drew me to your blog was the title. If we don’t life out our Faith then we are living for the wrong things! Love your blog!

  11. Hmmm . . . Im a little surprised by that, although I do understand. Some people can be very pushy with their beliefs, and I fully get why companies wouldnt necessarily want that to get caught up with that. That said, as someone who isnt religious at all, I’ve never felt like you were pushing your beliefs on anyone. I love you, and your blog regardless.

  12. Kiah says:

    I definitely struggle as a new blogger to know where and when (and how much!) to post about my faith. I think you’re right on, in that if you write about what’s true to yourself, the rest will flow. There may be a few “lost” readers here and there, but overall it’s what makes you TINA (and why we love you and come back, and back, and back to read your blog :-) !

  13. Marci says:

    I got the BlogHer email too, I’ve been with them just a few months now. I was surprised to read that part, and thought it was strange from both companies. You don’t have to say, but I would have! I have two of their products (fancy and everyday) and have been very brand loyal to them for many years. I am Jewish and occasionally write about holidays and foods, but didn’t know what parts they didn’t like. I didn’t want to be affiliated with them if they didn’t want to be apart of something, so I ignored. But I was surprised too. Did you write them both?

  14. Samantha says:

    To be honest Tina, I was nervous about reading your blog at first because of Faith, but I am so so glad that I started reading. I will never judge someone for what they do or do not believe in – and that is why I decided I needed to take a chance and read what you have to say. You’re funny, intelligent, and I love reading your posts. I do not practice a religion, I have my own beliefs. But your posts and the way you speak of your faith is not preachy, and is certainly not offensive. You’re just speaking your mind about how you feel and what you believe in – and I truly respect that.

    Wow, sorry for being so long winded! HAH!

    I came up with my blog name, “Because I Can”, as an answer to those who doubted me for so long. It’s my response to those who said I could not do so much of what I do now.

  15. VanessaG says:

    Don’t ever stop shining for Jesus. He never quits on us. Yes, people may say things and people may quit reading your blog. But if 1 person comes to now Jesus all of it is worth it. You don’t preach on your blog. You show love, and shine your ligt for him. I absolutely LOVE your blog. iLike I said before, I want to be just like you one day. :)

  16. Colleen says:

    One of my favorite quotes is “Preach the Gospel always; if necessary, use words.” -St. Francis Assisi. I think your blog is a great example of your faith shining through in your every day life and actions, even when you don’t specifically mention it. Thanks for being a great example, Tina!

  17. Jen says:

    One of the things that I most respect and admire about you and your blog is your willingness (and courage) to discuss your faith – I truly hope that you will always continue to do that! While I absolutely agree with respecting others’ beliefs – or lack thereof – I do not believe that those with faith should feel obligated to repress it!

  18. Lee says:

    I can definitely see why you’re upset but at the same time, I can see why a company might not want to partner with a blog that they see as religious (any religion) for fear of alienating some of their customers. I think you present your faith in a great way that shows that it’s really important to you but you are never preachy towards others but I can see that someone just seeing your blog’s name might not know that.

    I hope that wasn’t offensive because you are one of my favorites!

    Also, my blog name – I hate it! Tummy, who says tummy?

  19. Yacine says:

    I have only commented once before but I am a regular reader and always look forward to your posts. I really think that you have found a perfect balance in your posts and only lightly touch on the faith subject. As a “sometimes” church-goer (mostly when I am at home with my parents) I am still only growing into my own faith but seeing how positive, relaxed and laid back you are in your faith actually inspires me in that process rather than being tuned off.

    I feel like if this company rejects such an important part of you it may not have been a good fit anyways.

    • Tina says:

      Thanks, Yacine! I always hope my life reflects my faith in a natural way because I want people to know it’s not a front and just something that truly adds to my life. I would always love others to find the same joy in theirs…but I can only know how faith affects me personally. So I share that. I can’t tell other people what to think believe, or do. I’m glad it comes across positively. Have a great day!

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