Special Sunday Extra

Thanks For Participating!

I’m pretty stunned by the plethora of responses to Friday’s post. Who says we’re not supposed to talk about politics or religion? Apparently everyone likes to talk about it. I appreciate the numerous well-expressed thoughts you shared. Thanks for the conversation!

I’d like to thank Michael N. Marcus, who so kindly gave me permission to share his letter on the blog. Michael, I appreciate your willingness to engage in dialogue. I respect your point of view, and I’m so glad you shared it with me, because it gave me the opportunity to think once again about the “Christian” label and what it means. I also apologize for any lapses of grace you may have seen in my blog or the comments. Regardless of what religious designation we fall into, we are all imperfect humans still learning to speak our truth in love. I take responsibility for the content of this blog, and I ask that you would forgive any comments aimed at you that may have been disrespectful.

Thanks again to everyone for chiming in.

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


  1. Anonymous on February 9, 2009 at 10:20 AM

    >Thanks, Rachelle, that does make perfect sense. But it seemed “in your face” until you explained why you repeated it so often.

  2. Sharon A. Lavy on February 9, 2009 at 10:04 AM

    >God bless us everyone.

  3. Pam Halter on February 9, 2009 at 9:35 AM

    >I love good discussion, where people can talk about pretty much anything without wanting to kill each other. 🙂

    But I find it very sad that so many people have been hurt by Christians. I am a Christian and I try to know and love people because of who they are, not what religion they profess.

    Thanks, Rachelle and Michael.

  4. Rachelle on February 9, 2009 at 8:00 AM

    >Dear Anon 10:15,
    I anticipated your question and answered it already in the very last line of Monday’s post. The reason it says “Christian literary agent” at the bottom of every single post is for website optimization. I consistently come up on the first page of Google search results if someone Googles “Christian literary agent” and that’s exactly what I want.

    So relax, it’s purely business.

  5. Timothy Fish on February 9, 2009 at 6:16 AM

    >If you want discussion, the best way to get it is to bring up something with many different opinions. There’s only a few ways to say, “I agree,” but once we say, “but what about…” there’s no stopping us.

  6. Anonymous on February 9, 2009 at 12:15 AM

    >Since you represent mainly Christian lit, it seems fine to mention you’re a Christian agent. But my concern is the fact it’s mentioned after almost EVERY blog post and seems redundant–OK, we get it, you’re a Christian!
    Like writing, often less is more.

    Seems like you’re part of an exclusive club that only “true” Christians can belong to–guess that’s the point.
    BTW I’m Christian too but I don’t let it define me or my writing.
    Thanks for the great blog!

  7. raballard on February 8, 2009 at 10:54 PM

    >It was fun, I am new to commenting.
    And I do find your blog refreshing/

  8. Kim Kasch on February 8, 2009 at 8:30 PM

    >I too popped over to Michael’s blog – thus the Amateur Attorney comment.

    I enjoy different opinions too. Perhaps that’s why I, who am a Democrat, married a Republican – and together we have three Independent children. I love discussions with varied opinions-how else can we ever learn anything.

    Michael: I appreciate your email to RG because it was a great catalyst for some interesting discussion. And, I didn’t view your question as an attack; however, it did seem to come from a somewhat negative perspective: “Are you trying to attract other Christians, or spurn non-Christians?”

    At least to me, when someone thinks that I might “spurn” anyone just because they aren’t exactly like me, or who doesn’t agree specifically with me, seems to be a bit of a negative assumption.

    Like, if I say I love to read horror novels (Salem’s Lot, Twilight, TrueBlood), that doesn’t mean I don’t want to talk with people who read inspirational books, and if someone asked me, I’d wonder.

    Perhaps, I jump to my own assumptions – but that was my take on it.

  9. Michael on February 8, 2009 at 8:11 PM

    >To Rachelle…

    While I appreciate your apology, none is necessary. I am both tolerant and forgiving (like another bearded Jew I am sure you are familiar with).

    I am puzzled, however, why people (not you, Rachelle) regarded a simple question as an attack.

    I am a curious person, and have engaged in many fruitful and stimulating conversations with priests, ministers, rabbis, gurus, imams and lay people of various faiths — and my “why do you” questions were always welcomed and answered.

    Some people pray on Sunday, some on Saturday or Friday or every day or not at all. But there are more things that unite human beings than separate us, and courteous dialog builds unity.

    As Rodney King said during the Los Angeles riot in 1992, “People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? … Let’s try to work it out.”

  10. Michael on February 8, 2009 at 7:36 PM

    >Mikki Black said, “Hmmm. Am I the only one who zipped over to follow Marcus’s blog, too? I’m the only one who commented on his site that day, anyhow. Shameless, isn’t it?”

    I write five blogs on most days.

    Recent topics have included detecting typos, cellphone expansion in NY and Boston, a great new drill available at Sears, police removing a body from an elevator shaft, and the first woman who had a vacation in space.

    Your comment on my book-oriented blog seemed both benign and friendly: “Popped over here from Rachelle Gardner’s blog to check you out (and expand my publishing world horizon — shameless). How funny the places you’ve found your book! Nice to “meet” you.”


  11. T. Anne on February 8, 2009 at 7:03 PM

    >Thank you for presenting yourself as a humble human. So many times the negative stigma surrounding the Christian label is from people not understanding we all fall short of the glory. That is why God can only see us through Jesus, we will never be good enough on our own.

  12. Mikki Black on February 8, 2009 at 6:07 PM

    >Hmmm. Am I the only one who zipped over to follow Marcus’s blog, too? I’m the only one who commented on his site that day, anyhow.


    Shameless, isn’t it? But I like having many views on the same subject. It helps me understand more when I limit myself less.

  13. Lady Glamis on February 8, 2009 at 5:05 PM

    >I am so happy you received good responses! I think we readers appreciate your honesty and ability to let us know where you’re coming from!

  14. Jeanie W on February 8, 2009 at 4:52 PM


    Thanks for posting the poem ‘When I Say “I Am a Christian”‘ in the comment thread of your Friday post. I shared the poem with my cousin who then used it as part of the conclusion to her sermon this morning.

  15. Jane Doe on February 8, 2009 at 4:47 PM

    >You are truly a class act. 🙂 I enjoy the respectful way you treat others and how gently and lovingly you present your faith.